Love At Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection (Science Matters)

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9780425194058: Love At Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection (Science Matters)

We take it for granted today that babies need love. But less than a century ago, psychologists warned women against showing their children "too much affection"-predicting dire consequences ranging from deadly disease to sexual dysfunction in adulthood. The story of how this conventional wisdom was finally shattered takes us into the life and the laboratory of Harry Harlow-workaholic, alcoholic, brilliant and brave, capable of caustic wit and cruelty-and into an era in which the scientific establishment was just beginning to understand the power of human emotion.

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From the Back Cover:

"Incredible as it may seem, half a century ago leading psychologists scoffed at the notion that affection was vital to an infant's flourishing. Deborah Blum brilliantly recalls this chilling era, and the scientist whose controversial experiments reaffirmed love's importance. Love at Goon Park is science history at its best." --John Horgan, author of The End of Science

"Harry Harlow, whose name has become synonymous with cruel monkey experiments, actually helped put an end to cruel child-rearing practices. How these practices could ever have been advocated is only part of the puzzle presented in this lively biography. Blum does not shy away from the ethical questions raised by Harlow's research, yet reminds us that he was a complex man who won his battle with the scientific establishment so resoundingly that the outcome is now taken for granted."--Frans De Waal, author of The Ape and the Sushi Master

"Love at Goon Park is the important story of the human need for love. Deborah Blum tells the engaging tale of Harry Harlow and his groundbreaking research with monkeys that proved our essential drive for social attachment. This book is not just good science writing, it's a great story."--Meredith F. Small, author of Our Babies, Ourselves and Kids

"For generations of psychology students, the image of a baby monkey being comforted by a cloth doll is one of their most indeliable memories of the subject. Yet even most psychologists know little about the brilliant, funny, and infuriating man behind the experiments. Nor do many people know about its context--the fall and the rise of the concept of love in social science. Deborah Blum combines these elements into a gripping biography, written with intelligence, warmth, and panache."--Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate

About the Author:

Deborah Blum won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for her writing and reporting about primate experiments and ethics, a subject that she further explored in her first book, The Monkey Wars. Her second book, Sex on the Brain, was a New York Times Notable Book for 1997. Blum is a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin, and president-elect of the National Association of Science Writers.

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