Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies

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Identifying child prodigies and examining how the talents of these super gifted youths are sustained and nurtured is the focus of this study. Wunderkinds in the areas of mathematics, physics, music, literature, chess, and the more recent precocious computer geeks are identified and their personalities and lifestyles examined. The importance of the nature-versus-nurture role is probed so as to glance at the influence these factors play in the production of successful geniuses. Is it the genetic endowment that energizes the passionate drive to indulge in a specialty, or could it be the parental power and mentor control that navigates the course of these mental giants? Pairs of successful/unsuccessful examples are represented, with successful figures like Norbert Wiener compared to math failure William Sidis. Glance at the upbringing of captivating Shirley Temple, or shiver at the tempestuous life of chess champion Bobby Fischer. Are these mental giants just wired differently like the identified savants or are they outliers with highly-powered, tenacious grit? These are the challenging questions that psychologists are trying to decode and that are examined in this account. This intriguing topic captures one’s curiosity; however, the constant repetition and frequent flashbacks tend to handicap fluid reading.


Reviewed By:

Author Ann Hulbert
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2018-Jan-09
ISBN 9781101947296
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category History
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