The Firstborn Advantage: Making Your Birth Order Work for You

Kevin Leman, Author . Revell $17.99 (286p) ISBN 978-0-8007-1911-1

What do Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie have in common? And how do they share that certain something with Ulysses S. Grant? They're all first-borns, and in this breezy book, psychologist and “birth order expert” Leman delves into how birth order influences the first-born personality and upends some conventional thinking (e.g., only children and the first child of either sex is automatically a first-born—hence Jolie who has an elder brother can be classified as such) and illustrates first-borns' classic traits: reliability, perfectionism, a penchant for list making and black-and-white thinking, some social introversion but strong leadership abilities. Gender, parental treatment and family size are just as important as chronology, argues the author, who does an admirable job balancing the hope and hype of familial ranking and integrates compelling theories about how schooling and relationships work to address how first-borns can maximize desirable personality traits and minimize liabilities. His spirited and exceptionally easy read will appeal to those readers interested in understanding better whence they came and how to move forward with success. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/30/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
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