Item description for Genius Genes: How Asperger Talents Changed the World by Kirsten McBride Michael Fitzgerald; Brendan O'Brien...
Genius Genes: How Asperger Talents Changed the World proposes that many famous historical figures had an autistic mind-style, and that this should color the way we approach autism today Arguing that highly creative people are largely born and not made, the authors of Genius Genes: How Asperger Talents Changed the World present case studies of the lives of 21 famous individuals, tying their personalities, talents and lifestyles to the major characteristics of Asperger Syndrome. Subjects range from the well-known to some more obscure, including political/military figures (Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Stonewall Jackson, Bernard Law Montgomery and Charles de Gaulle), mathematicians (Archimedes, Charles Babbage, Paul Erds, Norbert Wiener, David Hilbert, and Kurt Gdel), scientists (Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Henry Cavendish and Gregor Mendel), writers (Gerard Manley Hopkins and H. G. Wells), plus maverick aviator Charles Lindbergh, psychologist John Broadus Watson and sexologist Alfred C. Kinsey. This book s chief importance lies in challenging from a fresh perspective an often negative perception of autism and Asperger Syndrome by demonstrates that many persons with autism have lived rich, complex and productive lives, and that their intelligence contributed hugely to shaping the world that we now know.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.9" Weight: 1.15 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher Autism Asperger Publishing Company
ISBN 1931282447 ISBN13 9781931282444
Availability 0 units.
More About Kirsten McBride Michael Fitzgerald; Brendan O'Brien
Reviews - What do customers think about Genius Genes: How Asperger Talents Changed the World?
Questionable consolation for parents of AS kids, don't expect more Mar 30, 2008
I'm a father of a kid with Asperger Syndrome, and I'm also a Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience. When I saw the title, I was attracted by the word "HOW", i.e. what are the possible special psychological traits of AS, and how these traits link with creativity, discoveries and achievements - I want the updated research findings. And further more, I also hoped to get suggestions about how to parent a kid with AS, who may possess some "genius genes" but meanwhile clearly have multiple difficulties. Without passing these hurdles, even the basic success will be questionable to these AS kids.
I'm disappointed when I got this book because it almost exclusively talks about second-hand biographies or even legends of some great people in history who "may" have Asperger Syndrome. Although the authors sound very confident to make their "diagnosis" of AS on these great figures (such as Newton, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson), I personally don't think it is accurate (such as in Newton's case). Anyway, this is not what I care, and I don't need the consolation that since many great people have AS, I should feel better (I don't feel bad for my son). On the other hand, although the first author is an expert of AS, I'm surprise that this book lack two important things: 1. An analysis AS itself - at least these parts relevant to the topic, such as what factors are important for the future success (I don't mean to be a Newton) of an AS kid. 2. An analysis of Today's successful figures with AS. AS is not a rare disorder, there must be many highly achieved "geniuses" with AS nowadays in this world. Who are they, where are they, what are their psychological traits, what are their life stories, what make them successful (nature or nurture)...? I feel that the authors are not able to answer these important questions, but instead they pick a shortcut to write a book with fancy title.
Interesting Read Mar 26, 2008
Genius Genes is an interesting review of a number of intellectuals, generals and politicians that may have met the criteria of Aspergers Syndrome or Aspergers Disorder. The brief biographies are concise and informative using some of the best biographies written about these individuals and present the evidence that the authors want to use to prove their position on the individual's diagnosis. Their thesis that Asperger's is one way for the emergence of creative and gifted thinking is proven if you accept that the highlighted individuals were Aspergers.
This book helps supply information regarding my interest in people who are creative, and those who are genius or near genius. It helps explain some of their quirks and what makes them interesting, and most of us have met someone that meets this definition.
Despite loving the book, I found the book repetitive at times. I also had some difficulty with the authors' overly frequent comparison of the individuals highlighted with philosophier Ludwig Wittgenstein. I found these frequent comparsions very distracting, and I felt if he was such a perfect case of Aspergers that a chapter should have been added and devoted to him. So distracting were these comparsions for me that I nearly rated the book as a 4 verse the 5 I gave it.
This book could be used as the basis for the belief that being 'normal' is not 'holy grail' for humanity. What is 'normal' anyway? Who wants to be mundane/normal anyway -- especially considering some of the crack pots who are trying to define what 'normal' is -- see the section on behaviorist J. B. Watson and the implications of his social engineering views to see my point?