- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Free Press (Sept. 28 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743296621
- ISBN-13: 978-0743296625
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 476 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #493,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives Hardcover – Sep 28 2010
|New from||Used from|
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
“Exciting, cutting-edge scientific research in the field of epigenetics has changed the way the medical profession looks at pregnancy, and we are fortunate to have Annie Murphy Paul as our guide through this fascinating new terrain. With stellar insight and expansive research, Origins is a thrilling survey of how fetal origins is changing the way we think about the nine months before birth.” – Dr. Mehmet Oz, author of YOU: Having a Baby, YOU: Raising Your Child, and YOU: On a Diet
"Annie Murphy Paul, a gifted science writer, combines impeccable science, extraordinary tenderness and lyrical prose to produce a truly revolutionary chronicle of pregnancy. In Origins, she shows that pregnancy is not a condition to be endured but the first nine months of being a mother, a time full of far-reaching choices. Origins is sweet, smart and very fresh. You'll never think about pregnancy the same way again."—Sylvia Nasar, author, A Beautiful Mind
"Origins is, quite simply, a must-read for parents-in-waiting—and for anyone interested in what makes us who we are. Paul has written a superb introduction to the emerging science of fetal origins. There are still a lot more questions than answers, but this book shows how science is -- at long last -- engaging deeply with the reality that a pregnant woman's lifestyle can dramatically impact the future life of her child." -- David Shenk, author of The Genius in All of Us and The Forgetting
"What goes on during pregnancy is a scientific puzzle as mysterious and fascinating as what goes on inside an atom. In Origins, Annie Murphy Paul probes the murky realm in which our futures as human beings are forged. She combines in-depth reporting on cutting-edge research with a personal memoir of her own pregnancy and the anxieties and insights it produced. The result is an important, elegant piece of science writing."
--Carl Zimmer, author of Soul Made Flesh The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution
"This is a terrific book on a fascinating and largely unexplored subject—the mysteries of prenatal development. It is lucid, scientifically accurate and clear and gracefully written. Combining good science and a personal perspective is rare, especially in writing about children and motherhood, but Annie Paul has accomplished it beautifully."—Alison Gopnik, author of The Scientist in the Crib and The Philosophical Baby
Origins is that rare, beautiful, wonderful bird of a book: As engrossing as a good novel and informed by impactful, cutting-edge research. Origins is an absolute must-read for expectant mothers and everyone who cares about them -- what you learn here could make your baby healthier, stronger, and even smarter. Best of all, the information unfolds in chapters structured around the 9 months of the author's own pregnancy, giving the book the momentum of a personal story (will she have a girl or a boy? how will the birth go?) A thoroughly enjoyable, readable look into amazing research with real consequences.
-- Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me
"As the author delves deeply into the vulnerabilities of the prenatal environment, she comes away with a compelling sense of the importance of how society cares for and supports pregnant women...Paul’s thought-provoking text reveals that this pivotal period may be even more significant and far-reaching than ever imagined." --PW
"Paul is honorable about examining the scientific, social and moral complexities of her subject." --Perri Klass, The Washington Post
"Tobacco, heavy drinking, illegal drugs, depression: We seem to grasp that these aren't healthy for anyone, let alone a pregnant woman. But just what effect do the things that women inhale, consume and experience have on a fetus? In "Origins," Annie Murphy Paul sets out to discover the answer. Along the way she explodes myths, reviews scientific evidence and explores the new frontier of fetal-origins research, the study of how we are shaped in utero by a combination of genes and environment." --The Wall Street Journal
" Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, documents [Annie Murphy Paul's] fascinating journey into the emerging science of fetal origins - and how knowledge made her feel more in control. " --The Toronto Star
A New York Times Notable Book of 2010
"A terrific and important new book . . . offers a new window into the unexpected forces that shape us." --Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
About the Author
Annie Murphy Paul is a magazine journalist and book author who writes about the biological and social sciences. Born in Philadelphia, she graduated from Yale University and from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A former senior editor at Psychology Today magazine, she was awarded the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, Slate, Discover, Health, O: The Oprah Magazine, and many other publications. She is the author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives and The Cult of Personality: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies, and Misunderstand Ourselves.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
- The overall message, what happens to the mother impacts her baby is important and should be taken to heart
- As a runner, I appreciated the connection between maternal exercise and the increase in fetal intelligence
- The author consults a wide panel of experts
- A wide variety of topics are discussed, including maternal diet, mood, exercise, overall health, as well as genetics, homosexuality, and protective instincts
- At times the text became a bit boring, especially towards the end. At times there was too much history and not enough biology
- I didn't feel like anything was concrete; obviously it's hard to be definite when dealing with an up and coming branch of science, but I felt as if there were a lot of maybes
- The way the text is set up is misleading; I thought that you would learn what was happening to the fetus at each step of the nine months (each chapter is a month), and what the mother could do to help her baby. Instead, it's the month where the author is at her own pregnancy, and just her musings and research during that month. What she discusses at month eight could have been discussed at month two.
- I don't feel like I learned that much
I don't suggest buying this book, especially not the hardback! It was interesting at times, more so the first few chapters, but I did not end with a satisfied feeling that other nonfiction books give you.
First of all, I don't know whether it was author's general style or she was forced by her editor's commercial pressure but frankly I'm really bored to death with so many personal details and the over-worked narrative structure of the book. Readers of The New Yorker may be buying this sort of story-telling and I'm not against a story told well, however there is neither a coherent nor a very well told story here. A 288 page book could easily be condensed into 100 or less pages without sacrificing any fact related to the prenatal development.
The author is free to want a boy as her second child but I'm still wondering what this has got to do with the topic of the book. Does the gender preference of mothers affect the children in any way? I would be more than happy if she cared to provide some research about this after every sentence in which she repeated how much she wanted a boy.
Another quite disappointing part was when she mentioned Caesarean section (C-section) only in a few sentences and simply said that this type of childbirth helped her mark her calendar exactly for the day her child will come. How convenient for a busy New York mother indeed! I was expecting at least some discussion against the C-section as well as elaborate arguments supporting it. But maybe I was asking for too much. (Funny thing is that when she writes about maternal leave she mentions a scientist that claims maternal leave "makes good economic sense, since C-sections cost more and require more recovery time for the mother.")
The parts where author gives priority to how very young fetuses are shaped by their mother's environment as well as shaping the mother's biology provide lots of food for thought (and in some cases, food for thought is literally meant, the author gives examples on how famines as well as ordinary food choices affect babies long after they have been born). As long as you can supress your feelings during the sections where very irrelevant personal details and political judgments are repeated you'll have the advantage of learning the contemporary landscape of prenatal development research from a popular science perspective.
We need to *know.* We deserve to *know.* Fully *know.*
What formed our ways? Our desires? Our likes and dislikes? Our Life?
Annie, we all owe you an incredible and deepest heart-felt "Thank you!" for telling it like it is, all our hidden cravings and weird desires, and why "normal" people try to ostracize those of us who don't fit their complex-shaped little boxes and filters.
Thanks, Annie Murphy Paul
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Personal Health > Women's Health > Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Psychology & Counseling > Developmental Psychology
- Books > Parenting & Relationships > Parenting > Babies & Toddlers > Child Development
- Books > Parenting & Relationships > Parenting > Child Care
- Books > Parenting & Relationships > Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences