Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential--And Endangered

Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
Mariner Books
Publish Date
5.3 X 7.9 X 1.0 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author
MAIA SZALAVITZ is widely viewed as one of the premier American journalists covering addiction and drugs. A neuroscience writer for and a former cocaine and heroin addict, she understands the science and its personal dimensions in a way that few others can. She is co-author of Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential - and Endangered and The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, both with Dr. Bruce D. Perry. Her 2006 book, Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids is the first book-length exposé of the "tough love" business that dominates addiction treatment. She writes for a variety of publications, theNew York Times, New York Magazine, Pacific Standard, Scientific American, Nautilus, Matter, Elle, Psychology Today, VICE, and Marie Claire.

Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., is the senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy (, a not-for-profit organization based in Houston that is dedicated to improving the lives of high-risk children, and he is an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. He is the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children.


"Born for Love places love where it belongs: at the heart of human experience. Beyond our use of tools, our complex languages, or our artistic triumphs, what Homo sapiens does best is love one another. Szalavitz and Perry show just how vital and humanizing our capacity to care really is through the use of illuminating case studies, cutting-edge research, and deft writing." -- Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., author of Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships

"Empathy, and the ties that bind people into relationships, are key elements of happiness. Born for Love is truly fascinating." -- Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

"Facebook. Daycare. Economic inequality. All these trends are endangering empathy. Building off of case studies from Perry's psychiatric practice, Perry and Szalavitz trace the antecedents and repercussions of (dis)connection, from mother-infant bonding through national financial meltdown. Born for Love explains science from cells to sociology and illustrates what can go wrong when we turn a blind eye toward others or engender blind spots in our children. But it offers fixes. Some are far off-systemic shake-ups-but others are just a handshake away." -- Psychology Today

"A clear, expert, up-to-date presentation of what makes us human, happy, and durable." -- Library Journal (starred review)

"Bruce Perry is both a world-class creative scientist and a compassionate therapist." -- Mary Pipher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia

"Once in awhile a book changes the way I experience the world. This time it's Born For Love, by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz. Their book explores how children learn to love-or not. No work of fiction is as compelling." -- Denver Post

"An accessible and important work of popular science." --

"Strikingly original and thought-provoking, Born for Love explores the crucially important role empathy plays in all of our lives. It should be required reading for every parent, partner, and friend." -- Annie Murphy Paul, author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives