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Wire Mothers: Harry Harlow and the Science of Love
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Wire Mothers: Harry Harlow and the Science of Love

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  109 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Psychologists know best, of course, and in the 1950s they warned parents about the dangers of too much love. Besides, what was "love" anyway? Just a convenient name for children seeking food and adults seeking sex. It took an outsider scientist to challenge it. When Harry Harlow began his experiments on mother love he was more than just an outside the mainstream, though. H ...more
Paperback, 84 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by G.T. Labs (first published July 2nd 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 220)
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Jul 18, 2011 Michele rated it it was ok
Without some prior knowledge of Harlow's experiments this book could get confusing fast, though the confusion won't last long since it is such a quick read. Also, this book does nothing to address the most controversial and cruel experiments Harlow conducted. I would have liked it more if the book had said yes, Harlow confirmed the role of love and nurture in development and did some great things for the psychology of abused children, but he did it at the expense of living beings, some of whom h ...more
Feb 05, 2008 Mathew rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I liked the idea of this book better than the reality. There could have been more discussion of the ethics of animal testing in addition to the discussion of challenging the prevailing theories of the day. Also, ending the story before the major breakthrough in 1960 was a little odd. It will still be recommended at the reference desk.
Aug 14, 2009 Kristenyque rated it really liked it
I am not sure how to go about describing this book. If I were to mention it to someone I think I would simply say to them "read it". I actually have had discussions with people about whether or not love truly exists, and I think that this book could bolster my case. I was reading today also that power is the "shadow" of love according to Jung. I found the other psychologist/scientists in the book who followed the Freudian thought that cuddling or touch of the baby was in a way a perverted manife ...more
Mar 18, 2010 Kandice rated it really liked it
Wow! I had no idea that in the 1950's parents were cautioned against physical signs of affection. Not only was the public newly aware of, and terrfied of, germs, but with Freud spouting all his sex theories, parents allowed themselves to be convinced that a mother's kisses were sexual in nature. How sad.

This is the true, if partial, study of Dr. Harry Harlow, The first scientist to research, and prove that not only does love exist, but is absolutely neccesary for the normal development of babies
Mar 16, 2011 Paula rated it liked it
This book was an interesting, quick read. Although I had heard of B. F. Skinner and some of his ideas, I had never heard of either John B. Watson, who developed such strange theories of child rearing, or the subject of this book, Dr. Harry Harlow. The book is an interesting introduction to some of the scientific theories of child rearing and "proximity" that were popular through the 20th Century. I do have one quibble. At one point in the book, Dr. Harlow points out a young monkey who was not al ...more
To parallel this in modern time, I need to think of a commonly held belief about which common sense should tell us otherwise. Maybe patriotism/warfare, or something along those lines. Harlow's time saw a rise in the popularity of reducing affection (love) towards babies to avoid passing on disease. Folks had just started becoming aware of these things called germs, you see, and so became germphobic (though I do not know from reading this exactly how widespread this was).

The end notes to this int
Dec 29, 2013 Crabbygirl rated it liked it
again, ottaviani sheds light on a subject we take for granted: the idea that maternal love and comfort provide stability in an infant's cognitive and emotional development.
but this time i knew nothing about this subject, or that - at some time - this idea was actually seen as radical and unscientific.

in his 't-minus' and 'jane goodall' books he brings you into the past and illustrates their thinking which serves to unscore WHY the breakthroughs were seen as such.
for this book, he starts in the
Mar 19, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
I was really looking forward to reading this, but the book stopped short of really exploring Harlow's work. They omit the worst of the experiments, the rape rack and the pit of despair. The story ends very abruptly without providing us with much detail about whether or not anything was ever accomplished by the experiments being done (are the findings they claim to have made recognized by the scientific community? Has it led us to anything new today? How did it impact things when it was just comi ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Carli rated it liked it
This is an interesting look at Harry Harlow's experiments on love and its importance in development amongst young monkeys.
The writing of this was muddled and confusing, but what I did learn from it was very interesting.
Describes the life story of Harry Harlow, a scientist who did experiments on monkeys to prove the existence of parent/child love. The illustrations were great (yay Dylan Meconis!), but the story itself was a little hard to get into, a little confusing, and the science behind it took some thought to understand (instead of being explained clearly in text). I had to infer the meaning of experiments. We need more Meconis work in TRL though - this is the only thing we've got!
Feb 08, 2009 Deborah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is an amazing story done simply, in an easy-to-read and understand cartoon form. I'd heard of these experiments and probably studied them in college, but the implications are so compelling to me now that I immediately reserved a copy of Deborah Blum's "Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection" at the library. Highly recommended if the summary of the book captures your interest at all, this is a quick read about a very profound subject.
Susan Rose
May 21, 2012 Susan Rose rated it liked it
This was quite an interesting little graphic novel about the work of Harry Harlow a psychologist woring against some cold theories on child development. As I say this is interesting and the drawing style really suits it. I would have really liked to know more about the man behind the work, in the graphic novel he talks about love but you don't get a sense of his relationships which is i think a real shame.
Dec 29, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Not really sure who the intended audience of this title was—maybe high school students?

The book tries to tell the story of both Harlow and his work, and it didn't really work for me, since Harlow's life wasn't sufficiently dramatic. Still, an interesting moment in the history of science.

Dylan Meconis does a fine job with the art, but her skill has definitely improved since this title.
Mar 09, 2008 HeavyReader rated it liked it
Recommends it for: psychology fans
This is one of those nonfiction comics that I really like. This one is about the scientist Harry Harlow and his experiments with baby monkeys and monkey mothers made out of either wire or soft cloth. If you have taken any psychology class, you have probably heard about this guy and his experiments. Fascinating stuff and well told here in words and pictures.
Oct 31, 2009 Edna rated it really liked it
What a great way to introduce science subjects to teens who prefer visual mediums as opposed to text-printed textbooks. This book has great dark illustrations showing the frustration, yet importance of one scientist's determination to prove to his peers the importance of physical bonding between an offspring and its parent.
Sep 28, 2012 Pancha rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, history, science
A very brief overview of Harlow's primate experiments. Dylan's art is great, and I think the comic is a good introduction to the topic. But it is really short and only goes into the basics about the man and his findings, and leaves the reader hungry to know more. Luckily, there is a recommended reading list at the back.
Jamie Gaughran-Perez
Dec 12, 2012 Jamie Gaughran-Perez rated it really liked it
Apparently there is a whole set of "real stories about science" comics from these guys. This was a quick read, but a great reminder of a pretty important turning point in the study of psychology / theories. Felt a bit like a Pekar (sp?) book -- in a good way.
Dec 16, 2007 Christy rated it really liked it
(swap, not sell)
This was a random and awesome find. Only regret is that it's so short.. but it's perfect at its length.
A graphic novel (nice style) on the actual experiments of Harry Harlow and those cloth monkeys. ie. love science.
Carlos Leal Lozano
Jan 18, 2013 Carlos Leal Lozano rated it liked it
Siento que en esta pequeña novela el conductismo gana algunos puntos, aunque no estoy de acuerdo con algunas cosas que dice sobre el psicoanálisis pero bueno, habla de la escuela norteamerica a del psicoanálisis
I'll happily read anything from G.T. Labs. This is one of their better ones. Meconis's art is perfect and carries where the writing is a little draggy.
Jan 30, 2008 Darrell rated it liked it
Shelves: tradepaperbacks
the illustrated history of researcher Harry Harlow's breakthrough studies on infant monkeys and their need for mother figures (even if inanimate)
The story is amazing...
The comic could be better.
Black and white pictures, and sometimes gets confusing.
Worth the read.
Jan 05, 2012 Jeff rated it liked it
A fun and interesting read. There were a few times in the text where it was a bit hard to follow, so only 3 stars.
Angelina Bee
Oct 06, 2012 Angelina Bee rated it really liked it
Genuinely interesting. Gave me a little Twilight Zone- chill in certain places.
Aug 24, 2008 shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: profeshnul
does not do justice to the actual taped experiments of the catatonic monkeys, though.
Aug 06, 2007 Brandy rated it it was amazing
Ottaviani. Meconis. Monkeys. Behavioral psychology. What's not to like?
Mar 09, 2012 Matthew rated it it was amazing
This does a great job of summarizing Harlow's work.
Mar 25, 2009 Charli rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic, graphic
Interesting, infuriating and ultimately, sad.
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I've worked in news agencies and golf courses in the Chicagoland area, nuclear reactors in the U.S. and Japan, and libraries in Michigan. I still work as a librarian by day, but stay up late writing comics about scientists. When I'm not doing those things, I'm spraining my ankles and flattening my feet by running on trails. Or I'm reading. I read a lot.
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