Melba Books

Where Every Book is a Portal to Knowledge

Book Summary


Born To Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives

by Frank J. Sulloway

Paperback: 653 pages
Publisher: First Vintage Books Edition, September, 1997
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0679758763

Abstract: The author asserts in this book that family birth order has a great impact on the development of science, history, personality and family dynamics. Chiefly, that first born children are more likely to be resistant to new ideas and social change than latter born children. The book draws heavily on the example of Charles Darwin's life, a latter born child.
Key Takeaways:

  • Darwin's theories of evolution were at first largely accepted among latter born children and largely opposed by firstborns.

  • Firstborn children have a tendency to have more authoritarian personalities, while latter born children tend to be more "layed back" and agreeable. This principle is often played out across family dynamics.

  • Latter born children more readily accept social, political and religious change than first born children. This is shown where the Protestant Reformation saw ready adoption among latter borns and rejection among firstborns.

  • Key questions answered in this book:

  • How does birth order of children affect the dynamics of the family?
  • How did Charles Darwin's birth order influence the development of the theory of evolution?
  • How did family birth order influence the massive changes such as the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution?

  • Get more information about this book from our partners at Amazon:
    View other titles by Frank J. Sulloway:
    View some other titles on the birth order of children
    Jump back to the Melba Books Homepage:
    Last Update August, 2010