Genie A Scientific Tragedy The compelling story of a young woman s emergence into the world after spending her first years strapped to a chair and her rescue and exploitation by scientists hoping to gain new insight into la

  • Title: Genie: A Scientific Tragedy
  • Author: Russ Rymer
  • ISBN: 9780060924652
  • Page: 292
  • Format: Paperback
  • The compelling story of a young woman s emergence into the world after spending her first 13 years strapped to a chair, and her rescue and exploitation by scientists hoping to gain new insight into language acquisition.

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      Published :2018-05-06T21:22:33+00:00

    One thought on “Genie: A Scientific Tragedy”

    1. My mother recently brought me over boxes of books I haven't seen in years, one of which was Genie: A Scientific Tragedy. When I was still in college, I had planned on doing my senior psychology thesis on "unattached" children as they were called at the time, children who never properly bonded with a caregiver, and as a result, seemed to have no conscience. I was first drawn to Genie because her story begins with such unbelievable abuse and neglect that I assumed the story was about such a child. [...]

    2. The facts are these. In late 1970, a woman arrived at a social services office in California with her daughter. The woman, Irene, had almost entirely lost her sight and had taken a wrong turn while looking for services for the blind. But it was her daughter who caught the receptionist’s attention. It transpired that mother and child had managed to escape their home, where they had lived under the totalitarian rule of Irene’s husband Clark. The little girl, Genie, had spent her life in confin [...]

    3. The story of Genie is a truly a tragedy in every way. There was no "right" way for Genie. In some respects, it would have been better for Social Services to have given her to a family who would have raised her as a beloved pet. In actuality, that was the only level at which she could have happily functioned, but who would have thought that when she was found? Because of how she was raised, she was an empty slate, a perfect subject for understanding how language was learned and emotions were form [...]

    4. This is not in my normal genre, however for research purposes I gladly started reading this. It was not what I expected, even with the warning I received from the lender before I got it.Genie revolves around a young girl, "Genie", who has suffered traumatic abuse and neglect as a young child. When she is discovered because her mother took her to an appointment at a local DHS office, the scientific community over reacts to the potential information they may discover about the human psyche. This i [...]

    5. This is a journalistic account of a feral child subjected to unimaginable abuse at the hands of her father. When she is finally rescued she is turned over to scientists and linguists and treated with an odd mixture of love, fascination and scientific purpose. The author does a great job at drawing out the human motives that come out in odd ways with respect to the child, and also drawing attention to the interesting linguistic theories that seem to have their play around her. It's a quick read. [...]

    6. I first heard about this story during a class on Behavior Psychology. I was so intrigued by the photograph the professor showed us of "Genie", a 13 year old girl with an appearance of a 7 year old, unable to verbally communicate yet so expressive in her body language and eyes.This story does not have a happy ending. It is heartening and amazing see Genie's progress in learning and acquiring new skills, as an insight on the mind's ability to continuously learn and adapt despite harrowing deprivat [...]

    7. So, Blade Runner 2049 came out so I wanted to revisit the 1982 film Blade Runner and that made me wonder what else actress Sean Young had done, so that led me to the 2001 film Mockingbird Don't Sing where she played the role of Dr. Judy Bingham. Note a noteworthy movie, but it made me interested in the real-world case of the true story of Genie, a modern-day feral child forced into that state by forced isolation, starvation, and neglect from her dysfunctional parents. Genie entered into institut [...]

    8. Russ Rymer approaches the famous case of Genie from the standpoint of a journalist and therefore offers a layman’s understanding of the complexities of the case. After Genie was found, trapped in a room and heavily neglected by her parents, a considerable amount of research and intensive therapy took place by psychologists who were not always able to keep a professional distance from their subject. The areas of language acquisition are well described and those interested in Chomsky’s LAD wil [...]

    9. I read this book after inadvertent YouTube discovery of documentary. This is a tragic story of an extreme case of abuse/neglect and it's aftermath. Although story was originally published as a linguistic study; this journalist's story shares a broader picture. Still there is good science and a meaningful story to be told. I am close in age to "Genie". I grew up in same era, and was very affected by this discovery.Also, unfortunately, these family abuse tragedies are still occurring (Texas, Calif [...]

    10. This is a good book, but it will depend on your motivation for reading it. If you are reading it for the psychology aspect, it most likely won't satisfy. This focuses greatly on language development psychology and science rather than the overall psychology of Genie.

    11. This book made me interested in reading nonfiction. Russ paints beautiful pictures, and he makes it easy for the layperson to understand the science behind the linguistics. I love how he consciously chose to show the readers Genie's reflection, rather than shine the spotlight on her.

    12. The reason I picked the book up is over my own random interest in linguistics but, other then reminding me of several books I need to read, it wasn't like that. I also remember the story popping up in both my Psych 101 and Soc 101 classes in college. What this is, is straight journalism (sans the afterword) reporting on the case of Genie through the eyes of the scientists and caretakers who were involved in the project. What the book is about is, however, the tragedy that befalls the girl. And i [...]

    13. I read a few reviews of this book just after I read it, and one reviewer described Genie and her story as "Hopeless literally beyond hope." And this phrase really stuck out to me. Genie, her story and her life could not be summed up in any better way than this. Poor Genie wasn't given a chance. Not once in her entire sad life. She was born to parents who didn't want her and weren't mentally sufficient (downright cruel) to take care of her. Her father decided when she was only 20 months old that [...]

    14. I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could. I think that Rymer is a fine writer, and his style is a pleasure to read. However, I simply did not find this book to be a natural page-turner all the way through. Perhaps I have too much formal experience in science to be entertained by the normal quarrels between scientists investigating a similar subject. It's an essential part of the story, but I wasn't captivated by it.The parts of the book that I found most interesting were those in which Rymer [...]

    15. To me, Genie didn't seem a "scientific" tragedy as much as a "life" tragedy. She was so completely broken when she came into the care of Children's Hospital that I don't think anyone can say with certainty that her story would have ended differently in another's care. While it was unfortunate that there was in-fighting between the doctors and therapists, I didn't sense evil in any of them. They seemed to all truly want the best for her. One of my favorite quotes of the book was from David Rigler [...]

    16. This is a very important book. The lessons to be learned are extreme. It is hard to review. I can't say that I enjoyed the book. Not in a sense of enjoyment to read. This book is painful. "Genie" suffered one of the most tragic childhoods a person could endure. Utter cruelty. Disgusting and enraging. Had I been the person that discovered her and the conditions under which she was existing, her "father" would have been pounded into a fine powder on the spot. And the fact that so many people dropp [...]

    17. Genie: An Abused Child's Flight From Silence by Russ Rymer (Harper Collins Publishers 1993) (Biography) is the story of a child discovered in Temple City, California at the age of 13 in 1970 who had been completely deprived of stimulation or language by her parents. She spent much of her life strapped to a potty chair in a back bedroom until her almost totally blind mother left an abusive marriage to Genie's father and wandered into the local Social Services office. The "Wild Child", as Genie ca [...]

    18. ooo, it's a page turner! depressing, but very interesting story about a girl who was literally chained inside a closet for the first twelve yrs of her life, barely fed, never loved, and rarely spoken to. i know, i know, who wants to read something so sad? but it's interesting to see how the human brain functions when we haven't yet learned to talk, as most people have by the time they are three a degree. this book is taken from a scientific, sociological perspective and while i'm not in favor of [...]

    19. Wow, what a story. This is a lot more than a "scientific" tragedy. Traces the life of a child who was accidentally discovered by Social Services after being rescued from her abusive father, who kept her strapped onto a baby's potty chair for the first 13 years of her life and beat her with a board if she made any noise. She briefly became a star in the academic community as scientists, therapists and teachers from different disciplines wrangled over possession of the "feral child," and tried to [...]

    20. In my psychology class in high school and also during my undergraduate studies in psychology, I heard about this case several times. Genie was a 12-year-old girl who had been brought up in such an abusive environment that she had never learned to speak. Many psychologists at the time wanted to make their name by being the one to teach her to speak, in order to prove wrong the theory that there is a language "window of opportunity." However, there was much confusion dealing with custody--at first [...]

    21. I don't read much nonfiction, but I'd heard of Genie's case back in college freshman psychology class, and I enjoyed this book. Genie's story, and those of the other "feral children" mentioned in the book, are fascinating. They are a tantalizing, yet necessarily rare, glimpse into what human beings could be (and perhaps once were), if our social circumstances were different, if we did not have language. And yet Genie's essential humanity shone through, and that was truly touching. It's like, in [...]

    22. This story is so horrible, you cant help but keep reading. It is the story of the worst child abuse cases in California State History. A girl "Genie", being locked in a cage for most of her childhood, with no human contact what-so-ever. Abused of course, she never learned to speak. It is a good read, but get sad when the doctors who had grew to love her, get her taken away from her and back into the care of her crazy, blind mother. Genie is now in a adult hospital, that the wherabouts of it are [...]

    23. Russ Rymer expertly details the politics, progress, and pathos of one of the most severe cases of recent child abuse in the US, and its neurolinguistics heart. The tale is a fascinating, if terribly disturbing, insight into the scientific study of language acquisition on 13-year-old Genie -- a child who was denied any meaningful stimuli or communication during her captive years, and then subjected to further years of bitter tug-of-wars between those studying her and those who sought her welfare. [...]

    24. I first learned about Genie's story while doing research for a college thesis. I had personal experience working with children who had been victims of severe neglect, and was writing a paper about their difficulties with language acquisition.This book struck me to the core. Not only is the subject explored so poignant, so heart-wrenching, but it's written with an expert hand. It gives humanity and dignity to a character who was robbed of her own. It keeps you deeply engaged. The book says with y [...]

    25. This is the story of the 12 year old girl who was found by social services after being tied up in a room her whole life. She was considered to be like a wild child or feral child and at the time there was great interest in how our brains learn language. Genie could barely communicate and there was a lot of in-fighting about what was best for her and what could be learned from her.The story is well told and fascinating. I read this on a six hour flight and it kept me interested the whole time.

    26. From my understanding (and it's been years since I read this book), Genie was initially closed away because of what sounded like early developmental delays (possibly autism). Layer on the seclusion and trauma, and of course the outcome would be less than favorable. However, one could say that the developmental disorders Genie was born with were what "saved" her from exhibiting more behaviors consistent to children who have been horribly traumatized. It's possible that regardless of her upbringin [...]

    27. I think that as a much younger person, I caught a part of a documentary about Genie on tv, and I remember being fascinated by her. So this book satisfied some longstanding curiosity about her. I don't think it succeeded in answering the question it posed, "what does it mean to be human," but the part it touched on did seem compelling as far as it went. I learned a little bit of neuroscience, and got a sense of how tricky science can be, especially when it has to interact with ethics.

    28. It's a great read for anyone interested in language acquisition and human development. Learning of the ethically questionable behavior of the scientific community was of particularly high interest to me. Arguably, researchers focused on their experiments instead of Genie's welfare. I consider Rymer's concerns regarding scientific ethics appropriate. He outlines relative prominent theories in child development and describes other feral children. It's a fascinating but ultimately sad story.

    29. This is without a doubt one of the most impressive biographies I've ever read. Rymer manages to blend science and literature and philosophy expertly, so that the book sort of defies genre. The story is heartbreaking without being overly saccharine, and the illuminating afterword highlights its impact on the writer, adding yet another level to a fantastically in-depth account of one of academia's most famous stories. I cannot recommend this book enough.

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