Monthly Archives: February 2007

book: The Nurture Assumption

Tnapb4The Nurture Assumption
by Judith Rich Harris

Earlier this year, I met a person named Courtney Smith and we got to talking about psychology. A few days later, she sent me the Nurture Assumption in the mail exclaiming that I must read it.

And six months later, I finally picked it up.

And wow. This is a really powerful book. It is one of the top 10 books I have read in the last five years. Yes, it was that good. Thank you Courtney.

Essentially, Harris theorizes that peers are a much greater influence on someone’s personality than their parents. And she backs it up with impressive data and goes through many socialization studies from the last 50 years.

If you are fascinated with people, this is a must read book.

I will expand on the book in a future blog post as my mind is still rolling from it.

book: The Great Influenza

The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
By: John M. Barry

This (very long) book does into detail about the tragedies of the 1918-1919 influenza outbreak (often known as the Spanish Flu).

The book was an interesting account of a pandemic that killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years. It was truly devastating. And to set up the book, Barry talked about how medicine and medical practices were transformed in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. (amazingly … Until well after the Civil War, it was easier to get into medical school than to get into most colleges.)