No Two Alike

Mr. Hume:  Although The Nurture Assumption made the more noise, I actually liked No Two Alike the better of JRH’s two books. It begins with a pair of identical twins joined together at the head since birth. You can’t get more alike than that: same genome, and how different could their environment have been? Yet by age 29 they were quite different people, so much so that they decided to risk separation surgery so each could pursue her own goals. Alas, they died in the OR.

That’s just the starting point for an exploration of how we get to be what we are, informed by a very wide knowledge of the child-development and personality literature. A lot of what we are is genes, of course; but what’s the rest? That’s her topic, and she makes a very fascinating story out of it.

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