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Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives
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Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  291 ratings  ·  46 reviews
For the past forty years, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center have conducted research into young children’s reports of past-life memories. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the founder of this work, has always written for a scientific audience. Now, in this provocative and fascinating book, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a child psychiatrist who currently directs the research, share ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2005)
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Doug Dillon
If you are truly interested in reincarnation, rebirth and past lives, then this is the book for you.

A continuation of the work done by Dr. Ian Stevenson, also of the University of Virginia, this book offers clear evidence that at least some people do have previous lives. Culled from reports across the world, Life Before Life offers the reader case study after involving young children who claim to have lived before their current physical existences. At the time this book was written, 2,500 such i
Oct 28, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in reincarnation, New Age, or the paranormal.
Recommended to Jessica by: No one -- happened to find it at the library one day!
I really liked this book! It is rare to find a completely scientific book on reincarnation, and it was about as unbiased as you can get. Many of the cases the author described were really incredible...I can't see a way that the children describing their prior lives could have been fraudulent, and neither does the author. He did, at the beginning of the book, describe a few cases that had much more normal, non-reincarnation, explanations and debunked them and explained why. The author seemed very ...more
Trey Nowell
Wow, this goes down as one of my "Must read books". Being a graduate of VCU, UVA studies in this field and similar fields (of which I hold relevant degrees in psychology and religious studies) are extremely intriguing being it is so close to where I live. After reading Dr. Raymond Moody (also with UVA many years) discuss life after life, it turned me onto this book. Dr. Tucker continues much of the work Dr. Stevenson did at UVA regarding the stories of reincarnation claims by children all over t ...more
Fascinating. The book doesn't claim to PROVE reincarnation, but it does offer evidence that it says is hard to refute. Although I love the idea of reincarnation, it does conflict with my other, non-religious beliefs. Still, a very interesting book with great case studies. The writing isn't particularly vivid, but that makes it seem all the more credible.

Full review at Perpetual Folly: Review of Life Before Life
Zoe Zuniga
This was a good overview of the studies that have been done by scientists at University of Virginia. It did not seem over the top crazy or outlandish because the author covered all his bases and was open to all possible explanations for the phenomenom of children who are able to describe specific items, people and places from a pervious life. they are then taken to the place and are able to know things that they could not have known from being fed info or a hoax.
I used to think the idea of reinc
Though it is clear what this researcher feels is true and false, there is little to no bias in the studies being referenced. Simple facts (either recorded statements, birthmarks, or person/town identification) are used to suggest to the reader that consciousness exists beyond the brain. The goal here is to open a new realm of science and increase the understanding of the human race as a whole. I highly recommend this book to ALL readers.
Fascinating on the whole, but it gets a bit repetitive. The writing is drab, but the content makes up for it. I've read other books on the subject and was familiar with many of the cases, but the author gives more details on things like what possibly happens in between incarnations. Reincarnation is always an interesting subject, but the writing could have been better.
This book was really cool and I was blown away by the chapter that talked about birthmarks showing up on the reincarnated, in the exact same spot where they might had been killed in a previous life. I have always wondered about this topic & it was neat to read about some of the children who remembered their past lives, verifying people and things that they had done.
plan on being annoyed with the writing, but the subject is completely interesting. also annoyed that there wasn't an index since it would have been useful. oh well. makes me think about people...very interesting.
Victor Parra
Amazingly interesting book if you're into the whole reincarnation as an actual natural phenomenon instead of a religious or philosophical view.
Kinda leaves you thinking .. Definitely a worthwhile read.
Dewin Anguas Barnette
Amazing. Does a thorough job of arguing all sides and possible explanations.
For the first chapter I thought this was intriguing science. I soon realized it was nothing more than intriguing science fiction. Once I began to spot the myriad tiny logical fallacies, however, it lost its magic and became no more than it was: pseudoscientific trash. My main concern is that I spent nine dollars supporting this mass fraud. I don't know whether to be more concerned that the University of Virginia is housing a group of profit-seeking charlittans or that our medical schools turn ou ...more
Kyle Philson
This book is a must read book in my opinion for anyone interested in past lives or reincarnation. Dr. Tucker, who has taken over the practice since the passing of his predecessor Dr. Ian Stevenson began this project, researches and studies subjects using a scientific approach. From the study of over 2,500 cases worldwide, it is clear that something very interesting is going on when it comes to past lives. It is very interesting how some of these children even bare the scars of how they died in t ...more
A good, easily accessible account of scientific research into claims of reincarnation. Tucker does a great job of addressing all possible explanations for children's statements about previous lives and he explains how his team of researchers investigate each case. This is a great read for lay persons and I imagine would also be useful for readers with more scientific background or previous knowledge of this field. At any point, I found it intriguing and it makes me want to know more.
Erica Rose Mythen
An excellent read for anyone interested in the theory of reincarnation. Considering his many years of work with Dr Ian Stevenson, it's no surprise that the book is research based and methodical. Rational questions and theories are asked and contemplated throughout, and the reader definitely has to put some thought in. Criticisms such as population growth, fantasy and faulty memory of informants are all addressed. Great book, great brain food!
This was an interesting book. I wish there had been more case evidence and less...manipulation of facts. Jim Tucker tries very hard to get you to believe that he's being entirely objective with his analysis of the case studies. He's not. I enjoyed this book very much, but it could have been so much more. Enjoyable, but ultimately disappointing.
Danny Kelly
Wow, what an amazing book. The extensive and very scientific research done in finding the thousands of extraordinary cases discussed in this book really opened my eyes to the very real possibility of reincarnation. I may buy this book.
The case studies were interesting, but the entire thing read more like a term paper, which is to be expected I guess since it's written from a scientific perspective.
Thomas Corbi
Believable aggregation of evidence of the existence of soul or consciousness outside body.
I've always believed in reincarnation, not because I was taught to or learned it anywhere; I've just always had a natural, in-born belief in it (from a past-life?). I saw a show in the mysteries of the brain on the History channel a few weeks ago that included the amazing story of a boy who had vivid memories of a life as a WWII fighter pilot. Needless to say, I was fascinated and immediately looked up the investigator of the case, Jim Tucker. This book, by Jim Tucker, includes many other storie ...more
I came across a news article on a child who claimed to remember a past life, and the details the child told of were verified. This book is an attempt to share the scientific studies which have been made of claims about past lives by kids. The book contains a number of very interesting cases and a lot of information on the attempt to verify the details of the various reported cases. I didn't enjoy the writing style, or the long winded logical arguments against the alternative to reincarnation the ...more
Mahesh Balaji
Jul 30, 2014 Mahesh Balaji rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mahesh by:
Life Before Life --

The reason I remain an agnostic is my inability to comprehend the universe. While people keep thinking and digging about the 'how', I was and am always puzzled about the 'Why'. Why was this universe formed?? Why was this particular concept called 'life' formed? The 'How' gets coupled immediately but that gets explained automatically when the 'Why' is answered. Lets assume that one day we get the answer to all the 'How' questions but then our minds will explode with the curiosi
Ingrid Verschelling
Bij vlagen lees ik weer eens een boek over reïncarnatie. Vroeger geloofde ik daar helemaal niet in, maar toen iemand in mijn omgeving er heilig van overtuigd was, ben ik me erin gaan verdiepen en ben er boeken over gaan lezen. Zelf heb ik ook bepaalde herinneringen, maar ik stopte dat weg als onzin. Nu kijk ik daar heel anders tegenaan.

Mama, vroeger was ik … is dus weer een boek, dat me een beetje meer heeft overtuigd. Ik blijf nog steeds sceptisch. Ik kan het bijna niet geloven. Maar eigenlijk
Being already familiar and convinced on the overall idea of reincarnation and apparently told my past life story to my parents as a toddler/preschooler , I wish this book had more, more stories, stories more local (most of them come from the eastern part of the world where the cultural belief system often supports already the whole idea).

I still learned some interesting facts but that was about it.
Not particularly enjoyable to read either.
My Buddhist friend lent this to me with a reading guide to read the cases and not the commentary between, he said it was a quick read of about an hour and this was great to have. What is between is the author's conjectures and analyses on relation to mechanisms of karma. The author is a child psychiatrist. According to my friend a metaphysician or yogi writing this would have more interesting things between the stories to say.

The stories are remarkable from children all over the world: Turkey, L
John Kieffer
author employs a logical fallacy in his methodology. he first compiles a number of possible explanations of a phenomenon, one explanation being "reincarnation".
he then argues that since all the other explanations are unlikely, reincarnation is most likely. the fallacy is that he may not have included all the possible explanations
in his set. on the other hand, some of his stories about the subject children made interesting reading.
EvE Abyss
This book was amazing to read. I absolutely believe in reincarnation, but to hear stories from children who have no possible way of knowing the things they do is astonishing regardless if you believe in reincarnation or not. Astonishing perhaps is the wrong word for many of us do remember past lives, but when it comes from children it is fascinating to hear about. It also makes me wonder how anyone can doubt that our souls have a greater purpose than just this one life. Wonderful book, written b ...more
Heather Tewksbury-passariello
Very Intertesing. Great book for those doing research on the subject. I was looking more for just the stories.
Meghan Bankhead
Fascinating subject. I'm not sure I'm convinced, but luckily there's another book to read...
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