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Behave de Andromeda Romano-Lax
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Behave (2016 original; edició 2016)

de Andromeda Romano-Lax

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836255,454 (3.81)1
"In 1920, when she graduated from Vassar College with her degree in psychology, Rosalie Rayner took a coveted position at the Johns Hopkins research lab to assist the charismatic John B. Watson, the man who pioneered behaviorist psychology. Together, John Watson and Rosalie Rayner conducted experiments on hundreds of babies to prove behaviorist principles of nurture over nature. They also embarked on a scandalous affair that cost them both their jobs. The Watson's bestselling parenting book, Psychological Care of Infant and Child, which emphasized emotional detachment, affected the upbringings of generations of American children but Rosalie, now a mother herself, had to confront its tenets personally. With Behave, Andromeda Romano-Lax offers a fictional biography of Rosalie Rayner Watson, a woman whose lab work is now widely repudiated but who in her time was at the cutting edge of parenting psychology. This novel is in turns moving and horrifying, a thought-provoking and page-turning read about the meaning of motherhood"--… (més)
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    American Wife de Curtis Sittenfeld (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Both novels are based on actual intelligent women who married powerful men & both do a great job examining that dynamic
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Fascinating exploration of the life of Rosalie Rayner, an aspiring scientist who married behavioral psychologist John Watson and became Mrs. John Watson instead of following her own career.

I loved the way the narrator of this novel is both defensive of her life choices, and regretful of them. Watson, the precursor to B.F. Skinner and the originator of behaviorism, is completely believable as an egotistical yet fragile man intent on pushing his theories and protecting his fame, no matter who is hurt by it. Romano-Lax imagines Rayner to be both pliant and defiant of her husband's extreme views of parenting. Historical figure Mary Cover Jones appears early and late in the book as a friend of Rayner's, a fellow Vassar graduate, and an example of a woman of science who made better choices.

The novel works in that very tricky area of fiction about real people. It allowed me to speculate about Rayner's life, especially because the historic record about who she really was, and why she made the choices she did, is scant. ( )
  poingu | Feb 22, 2020 |
This is historical fiction that focuses on the second wife of behaviorist psychologist John Watson. Having read about Watson and his early work in psychology, this book was interesting for me. The author does a great job of describing the time period and events so that I could easily image the happenings, such prohibition and the depression. Rosalie is a woman ahead of her time but living in the shadow of a luminary in his field, and this creates tension for her throughout her life. During a time when most women were staying at home and advertising was really in infancy, I enjoyed reading about how the time period and theories shape both the character of Rosalie and women today.

Note: I was given a free ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Neftzger | Jul 2, 2016 |
I'm all for dark books with unlikeable characters, but there was something particularly bleak about this one—maybe because you could see where it was going, maybe because there wasn't quite enough joy to balance out the sadness. It was well-written and a good enough read—just never quite emotionally engaging enough for me to be invested in the characters. ( )
  lisapeet | Apr 14, 2016 |
I loved the beginning of this book. I did not know it was based on a real scientific couple. John Watson is known as the father of behaviorism. I would call him a sadist. His views of raising children were horrific. I think my mom must have learned from him. Both had no "feelings" for children. Rosalie Raynor was lead to believe Mr. Watson hung the moon and stars.

She fell for this womanizer and had an affair with him. After he divorced his wife, he married Rosalie days later. I could not like these two people at all. They weren't much different than the Nazis, with their experiments on children. Rosalie, who was so determined to make a career for herself, got pregnant and had two children. So much for her plans. She stayed married to the womanizer, knowing full well what he was doing. What more can I say about this couple. The writing was good. ( )
  Connie57103 | Mar 14, 2016 |
Rosalie Rayner Watson comes to life through the pages of Romano-Lax’ s Behave. We see the character mature from an idealistic and entitled young woman to a harried young mother who realizes the choices for women who want it all, in the Twenties and thirties, are limited. At times, I simply forgot I was reading a book that wasn’t taking place right now as the story is still so relatable, right down to the male professor and/or executive and his power both in and out of the classroom or boardroom. The fact that this novel is based on real people and the theory of behaviorism, a seemingly flawed study, is all the more fascinating. This really is an interesting novel that is well worth the read. ( )
  hfineisen | Mar 13, 2016 |
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"In 1920, when she graduated from Vassar College with her degree in psychology, Rosalie Rayner took a coveted position at the Johns Hopkins research lab to assist the charismatic John B. Watson, the man who pioneered behaviorist psychology. Together, John Watson and Rosalie Rayner conducted experiments on hundreds of babies to prove behaviorist principles of nurture over nature. They also embarked on a scandalous affair that cost them both their jobs. The Watson's bestselling parenting book, Psychological Care of Infant and Child, which emphasized emotional detachment, affected the upbringings of generations of American children but Rosalie, now a mother herself, had to confront its tenets personally. With Behave, Andromeda Romano-Lax offers a fictional biography of Rosalie Rayner Watson, a woman whose lab work is now widely repudiated but who in her time was at the cutting edge of parenting psychology. This novel is in turns moving and horrifying, a thought-provoking and page-turning read about the meaning of motherhood"--

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