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Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives
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Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  710 ratings  ·  90 reviews
A riveting firsthand account of one man's mission to investigate and document some of the most astonishing untold phenomena of our time
All across the globe, small children spontaneously speak of previous lives, beg to be taken "home," pine for mothers and husbands and mistresses from another life, and know things that there seems to be no normal way for them to know. Fro
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1999)
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Old Souls : Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives
by Tom Shroder. isbn13: 9780684851921

A prominent psychiatrist with a "no nonsense" reputation stumbles across a cure for a patient with an intractable phobia. Putting her under hypnosis he asks her to keep going gradually further and further back into her past. He then asks her to go all of the way back to the event that gave her the phobia. To his shock, she goes "back" to before her birth, thousands of years, to an alleged fo
Robin Tell-Drake
First things first: I would like to try and review this book, rather than reviewing the notion of reincarnation, or even the question of whether or not this book changed my views on that subject.

I have to admit the book feels a little threadbare at times for lack of more cases, or cases with more gripping specifics, or cases that function more convincingly as airtight evidence for the reincarnation hypothesis. But that is how one feels as a reader, perhaps on some level hoping for a more novelis
Interesting. Not compelling. Written by a journalist, in that sort of style journalists write in when they want to sound like a novel.... more details than are relevant, so they are just messy (do I need to remember who this person is? does it matter what food they ate? will it appear relevant later? nope).

The cases are interesting! But, I think we're not getting the entire story. We get a report of a fraction of the cases Stevenson found over decades of research into 3,000 cases. What do we ge
Kristen Nace
I read this book years ago and still remember it vividly...NOT a typical Shirley mcclaine "I was Cleopatra" type book. This is written by a journalist who is somewhat skeptical of the idea of reincarantion. To me what makes this story so fascinating, and i have to admit sad, are his stories of these children. He mostly deals with children in India (where reincarantion is obviously taken for granted) He also has some stories from Lebanon. (The Druze Christians also believe in reincarantion which ...more
Oct 07, 2007 Bob rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in reincarnation, Ian Stevenson fans

I should say right away that I've been an Ian Stevenson admirer for a long time. I have not only his Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation in the original hardcover edition and the revised paperback edition, but I have nearly all of his other books, all four volumes of his Cases of the Reincarnation Type, the more recent European Cases of the Reincarnation Type, Telepathic Impressions - A Review and Report of 35 New Cases, Xenoglossy, Children Who Remember Previous Lives, Where Reincarnation

Nell Grey
I almost gave up on this book - for the first 20% it seems more like a travel journal than the title suggests, with detailed descriptions of just about everything and everyone, but it did eventually get to the stories that made me buy the book in the first place. They were interesting, thought provoking and somehow unsatisfactory, partly because the original lives were mostly lived in the next village and also that there seemed to be conflicting accounts from witnesses and family members. The au ...more
This is non-fiction which I usually fail to finish. I dont know why I picked this up. It was really facsinating. It is a fairly scientific book again not my usual fare but I glided right through it. It certainly seems to more than a fluke but the real question is why does it happen more in some areas of the world than others.
Out of things to read I found this on the shelf of my work's "library" where we can share books with each other. The cover intrigued me and the concept intrigued me. However, as a whole I found the actual book a little less intriguing.

The author, Tom Shroder, decides to investigate the paranormal and more specifically the concept of reincarnation. He bounces around in the beginning preface of the book talking about different researchers in the field, but then finally settles on writing this book
This book was extremely interesting. It was interesting not just because it was about reincarnation, but I really enjoyed reading about the countries the author visited. Having never visited India and Lebanon, it was a wonderful depiction of life in these places. Well I don't know if wonderful could accurately describe the way that some of these families are forced to live. But it definitely made me appreciate things that we may sometimes take for granted. Such as plumbing. I was also really imp ...more
Alcatraz Dey
Writer/journalist Tom Shroder accompanies researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Ian Stevenson as he collects cases of children who believe they are remembering a previous life. In this absolutely fascinating book, no one draws any conclusion except that more intensive attention needs to be paid to this remarkable phenomenon that may or may not be leading us into and understanding of the nature of the soul. Well written and very accessible.
Aside from the interesting case studies, I was most interested in the perspective the author takes on mainstream science and its conservatism. One interesting dilemma for Dr. Stevenson, a medical doctor who later specialized in psychiatry, was that in Western culture, people know that reincarnation is impossible, and don't understand why he would want to make any sort of serious inquiry into it, while in many Eastern cultures, they know that reincarnation occurs, and don't understand why he woul ...more
Following a scientist around the globe who is researching cases of children remembering past lives , Shroder tags along as a skeptic to chronicle, first hand, the children who remember significant details of former lives to the point of telling their parents they don't belong in their current family and want to go back to their past life.

Much like the book, Fingerprints of God, Old Souls suffers from the very same problem - a journalist's view of reincarnation. As much as I wanted to really like
Feb 09, 2010 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in reincarnation and children's memories
Shelves: reincarnation
I appreciate the descriptions given by the author regarding the process by which the case studies were collected and the follow-up meetings at later dates. I was able to collect about nine pages of notes and books for further reading, but that is a bit atypical of me when I am researching a topic like reincarnation. Overall I found this book to be interesting from a social perspective, but a little light on actual content or theories provided by Stevenson's regarding his research of reincarnatio ...more
Tippy Jackson
Surprising. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book, but it was well thought out and put together. I felt like he was trying to collect data as a scientist. Although sometimes I definitely felt they were stretching a bit, some accounts seemed really unexplainable and I do feel as though they often asked questions and brought up counter arguments when applicable, for the most part. I appreciate the attempt to be objective, even though it wasn't always successful. It has me questioning t ...more
May 14, 2008 Karla is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I have never had a huge opinion on the subject. The book is fasinating. The author,who is a journalist, followed a scientist around the world to meet with children who spoke of the lives they lived before. The scientist then went with the children to the families these children said they belonged to in their past life. Often the children knew things about the families that no one could explain. Their explination is that indeed these children were these people they claimed to have been. I don't k ...more
Writer/journalist Tom Shroder accompanies researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Ian Stevenson as he collects cases of children who believe they are remembering a previous life. In this absolutely fascinating book, no one draws any conclusion except that more intensive attention needs to be paid to this remarkable phenomenon that may or may not be leading us into and understanding of the nature of the soul. Well written and very accessible.
Aug 19, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: Jean Latina
This book was reccomended to me by a great friend and roommate of mine. If you've ever been curious about reincarnation you should definately check out this book. The memories from a previous life somehow remain in young children from Lebanon. The doctor follows up with these children years after their original statements to see what they remember and how much of the information has changed. Some of the children remain friends with their old families in their new body. It's an intense read and I ...more
Off The Shelf
Suzanne Donahue reviewed Old Souls on

We Have All Been Here Before: A Skeptic Starts to Believe in Past Lives by Suzanne Donahue

The first thing you should know is that I completely believe in ghosts. I also believe in past lives and reincarnation but not the “I was a Princess” kind of reincarnation. I believe in the kind of reincarnation that points to eternal connections and the folding parabola of time. I am though, completely suspicious of psychics, palm readers, and hypnotis
Whenever I go and spend some time in Park City, I have to purchase a book and often the books I purchase are not your "main stream" types of books. This book fits that description perfect. As you can see by the subtitle, this is a book dealing with a topic that for some will be controversial and even the author himself had to spend some time adjusting to the possibility. The approach the author uses in the book is one that I appreciated, looking for a scientific explanation for the experiences t ...more
Rebecca Valentine
I found this book interesting, but not startling in any way. I believe in reincarnation and in fact have a son who had memories as a young boy that he would share about his "life before." I read this just to get a more investigative, scientific perspective on reincarnation, and I'm glad I did. The more I learn about past lives, the more they make sense to me.
Old Souls: A doctor spends a lifetime studying reincarnation



Tom Schroder was doing a story on a rather unusual subject. His editor has sent hem to interview a doctor that was publishing a new book in the field of reincarnation. While the doctor focused more on using hypnosis to help his patients recall past lives, he mentions another doctor by the name of Ian Stevenson that uses a more hands on approach to studying the phenomenon. He also mentions that the doctor has been studying the f
James M. Madsen, M.D.
Ian Stevenson's work, which author Thomas Shroder examines, is well known but falls short of being utterly convincing, at least to me. Old Souls is a fascinating book, not because it either proves or disproves reincarnation, but because it illustrates the process by which the author examines the anecdotal evidence and then makes his own, admittedly tentative, conclusions.
Bridget Carroll
I found this book a bit underwhelming. The subject matter is interesting as is the doctor who has undertaken these studies. But the author is annoying and presents his own thoughts and opinions on the cases of these children when you'd much rather hear what Dr. Stevenson has to say. No offense, but do we really care about this guy's "unexplainable" experiences? No.
Dr. Ian Stevenson is a scientist that investigates recarnation memories of children. I chose this book. Old Souls, because it is from a journalists perspective, so I figured it would be written well and easy to breeze through. I found the subject absolutely fascinating and I thought it was well written too. I now want to move on to writing by Dr. Stevenson.
I didn't make it very far in this book. It is about a man who travels far and wide to talk to children who claim they remember past lives. The author follows him on his journeys and I couldn't tell if he supported the man or was there to rebuke all his findings. Either way I wouldn't recommend it.
lynne naranek
A journalist's account of shadowing Dr Ian Stevenson documenting possible past-life/reincarnation cases in children, in as scientific a method as possible. That by itself is worth the read; then add to that getting the author's perspective of the chaotic life in Beirut & India. Highly recommended.
Yet again, another title that embarrasses me. However this book was beyond amazing. Tom Shroder, a Washington Post journalist follows along with Ian Stevenson to study his methods. This book gives a solid, object viewpoint on Stevenson's research.
Christina Wright
Aug 29, 2007 Christina Wright added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those open minded
I honestly did not learn much more than the skeptical mind of others still can be over powered by their need to validate themselves. Not only that but to validate the happenings of life after death.
Very interesting read. This was an impulsive read but I'm glad I gave it a chance. This takes what could be dry reading about alleged cases of reincarnation and makes it an enjoyable ride as we follow a reporter (the author) as he sits in on interviews, travels around the world, and considers rational reasons to disbelieve stories of children claiming to have lived as a "previous personality" before being born to their current family. He reports both very questionable reports and real life examp ...more
Lisa A. Fraser
Definitely fascinating, and at times, unsettling. Leaves more questions than answers and that's what's great about it.
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