Off the Charts
The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child ProdigiesBook - 2018
"From the author of the widely praised Raising America, an eye-opening exploration of child genius and the parental and societal aspirations that accompany it. Off the Charts casts Americas current obsession with early high achievement in a new light, uncovering its history and offering insights into our ever less playful, increasingly purposeful ethos of childhood. Ann Hulbert examines in depth the lives of sixteen children whose extraordinary accomplishments over the course of a century raised hopes about untapped human potential and questions about how best to nurture it. She probes the changing role of parents and teachers, as well as of psychologists and a curious press. Above all, she delves into the feelings of the prodigies themselves, whose talents inspire ambitions and fears particularly relevant to their historical moment. The moving stories focus in on children who range from the well known— including Norbert Wiener, the future father of cybernetics; the movie superstar Shirley Temple; and the chess champion Bobby Fischer— to the overlooked, among them the African American pianist and composer Philippa Schuyler and two girl authors of the 1920s. Math prodigies, young computer pioneers, and autistic 'prodigious savants' stand out as both models and mold-breakers in an increasingly meritocratic country. Off the Charts also offers an inside look at Lewis Terman's study of high-IQ children, the SAT-based talent search begun decades later at Johns Hopkins, and Amy Chua's Tiger Mother manifesto. In this revelatory book, it is the prodigies who deliver the most valuable messages for an era when parents worry about pushing too hard or too little and experts warn about wasting the brilliant young talents the nation needs." -- Page  of cover.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
Branch Call Number: 371.95 Hu
Characteristics: xviii, 372 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm