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Particulars of My Life
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"With revealing -- indeed surprising -- particulars, and with a moving clarity and honesty, the great and highly controversial behaviorist, author of Beyond Freedom and Dignity and Walden Two, takes us into the flow of his own life form his small town American boyhood through his first tentative movements, in his early twenties, toward his life work. His story begins in the small railroading town of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, in the last golden decade before the Great War. A conventional middle-class family on the way up ... the father, an attorney, dreaming of (and attempting), a political career ... the beautiful mother, devoted to her children, cold to her husband ... the loving if slightly peculiar relatives ... the classic small-town schooldays of a bright, inquisitive boy--hard work, accomplishment, the one inspiring teacher, sports, orchestra, Boy Scout camp. The first wild crushes on girls ... the morose adolescent ponderings of life and fate, the excitements and fears of sexual awakening in a still puritanically "moral" society ... the consuming desire to be a Great Writer ... This is the content, brought touchingly close, of Fred Skinner's life from his birth in 1904 through the start of the roaring twenties when he leaves home--first for Hamilton College and the years bounded by passionate devotion to books and writing (Robert Frost declared, "You have the touch of art. . . ."), wholeheartedly relished fraternity pranks, and the tragic death (in his presence, in an instant) of his younger brother. Then New York--Greenwich Village, of course--heady talk through the night with actors and writers and other struggling creative doers, and, most daring, a ménage (almost) à trois in the days of Bohemia and bootleg gin highballs. Then Europe. And we see him--at once unique and the Young Man of His Time--up to and through the moment when, at twenty-four, giving up his dream of a literary life, sensing at last where his real future is to lie, he packs his valises for Harvard and its famous graduate department of psychology. The opening volume of Dr. Skinner's autobiography, a crucial document for all those who passionately follow his thought and work, is destined to endear itself to a far wider audience by the charm and simplicity of its narrative, by its shining re-creation, never sentimental, of a lost and innocent America."--Provided by publisher.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)150.19 — Philosophy and Psychology Psychology Psychology Theory And Instruction Systems, schools, viewpoints
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