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Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives

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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. 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. From the moment these children can talk, they speak of people and events from the past -- not vague stories of centuries ago, but details of specific, identifiable individuals who may have died just months, weeks, or even hours before the birth of the child in question. For thirty-seven years, Dr. Ian Stevenson has traveled the world from Lebanon to suburban Virginia investigating and documenting more than two thousand of these past life memory cases. Now, his essentially unknown work is being brought to the mainstream by Tom Shroder, the first journalist to have the privilege of accompanying Dr. Stevenson in his fieldwork. Shroder follows Stevenson into the lives of children and families touched by this phenomenon, changing from skeptic to believer as he comes face-to-face with concrete evidence he cannot discount in this spellbinding and true story.


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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. 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. From the moment these children can talk, they speak of people and events from the past -- not vague stories of centuries ago, but details of specific, identifiable individuals who may have died just months, weeks, or even hours before the birth of the child in question. For thirty-seven years, Dr. Ian Stevenson has traveled the world from Lebanon to suburban Virginia investigating and documenting more than two thousand of these past life memory cases. Now, his essentially unknown work is being brought to the mainstream by Tom Shroder, the first journalist to have the privilege of accompanying Dr. Stevenson in his fieldwork. Shroder follows Stevenson into the lives of children and families touched by this phenomenon, changing from skeptic to believer as he comes face-to-face with concrete evidence he cannot discount in this spellbinding and true story.

30 review for Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    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 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 former life in ancient Egypt where she remembers experiencing a particularly harsh manner of death. Upon awakening she is suddenly free of her phobia, after having had that freedom elude her for years during therapy. The psychiatrist writes a popular book about that experience and skeptical Washington Post reporter Tom Shroder is sent to write an article about it. Shroder does find a psychiatrist with a hitherto well deserved reputation for being a down to Earth clinician, but he isn't satisfied with the psychiatrist's interpretation of the case. Asking around, Shroder finds that a number of other prominent psychiatrists have stumbled across this phenomenon using hypnosis in their treatment. However, these other psychiatrists did not feel the need to believe that they had found evidence for reincarnation. It was enough that these experiences, whatever they were, helped their patients overcome their long held difficulties. Shroder then found experts who investigated the reliability (or lack thereof ) of memories retrieved under hypnosis. The consensus of those professionals was that under hypnosis, the brain will do as it is told, even if it means manufacturing a reality to fit the request. Through these experts Shroder learned of the existence of Dr. Ian Stevenson, a distinguished academic and a psychiatrist who had been traveling the globe for almost 30 years documenting cases of young children spontaneously remembering past lives -- without the aide of hypnosis or anything else. These cases typically involved young children between the ages of 2 - 5 years of age who had no exposure whatsoever to the place or people from which they claimed to come from. These children would often coax their parents to take them to visit these foreign locations. Upon arrival, the children would know their way around the strange city, recognize people they never met, recall shared experiences nobody else knew about with complete strangers and have emotionally charged "reunions" with these strangers. Financial gain, the seeking of fame or a fetish for romantic fantasies were not issues in these cases. In these cases Dr. Stevenson would typically interview the people involved, compare the accounts of various witnesses for consistency, verify what he could through public records, catalog the details methodically and then move on. Thats it. No movies of the week, no talk show appearances and no best sellers. Just cataloging data without making conclusions for nearly 3,000 cases over the course of 30 years, all over the world. This lack of sensationalism impressed Shroder enough to seek out the aging Dr. Stevenson and accompany him on the last fact finding tour abroad of his career. Shroder felt Dr. Stevenson's different, down to Earth, neutral and data centered approach to reincarnation did not deserve to die in an academic obscurity. Shoder's goal was to publish a book about it, so that at least people would know of its existence. Aside from Nu Age style cover art pictured above, which is an anathema to what impressed Shroder and what Shroder wanted to show to the world, he succeeded. I'm guessing the spooky cover art was a concession to the publisher who wanted to make sure that at least some copies of the book sold. The bulk of the book is a travel log of Shroder's trip to Lebanon and India with Dr. Stevenson where he follows up on cases he initially investigated decades ago, as well as investigating new cases. Not all of the cases are as impressive in corroborated evidence as the summary of the book suggests. Rather than discouraging the reader, these accounts give the reader a sense of the frustrations Dr. Stevenson must have felt over the course of his 30 year career. Reaching the people involved in these cases was often an arduous task, only to yield information that Dr. Stevenson felt wasn't worthy of including in his collection. Some of the cases described in the book were strong and were flat out intriguing. Shroder did an excellent job of describing the environments he traveled to and the people he interacted with. I found his account of the trip to Lebanon particularly interesting. I learned a lot about the country that I did not know before, including that a sect of Islam exists, called the "Druse" that believes in reincarnation. I never would have guessed. More importantly, Shroder plays an excellent "man on the street" narrator of his account of his time with Dr. Stevenson. He asks the questions the reader would want to ask, he is skeptical the way many readers would want to be skeptical and he feels the hopes that many of the readers would feel. Having gotten a visceral experience of Dr. Stevenson's typical cases, instead of a stack of Dr. Stevenson's dry academic reports, Shroder ends the book as he started it. As an agnostic about the reality of reincarnation. Shroder didn't believe that Dr. Stevenson's cases could be explained away via normal means. However, as with the serious academic critics of Dr. Stevenson's work, Shroder's only choice was to choose either reincarnation or some other out of the ordinary explanation ( none the more plausible). Instead, Shroder chose not to choose. Deciding that some things are just not known. I don't think this book will turn anyone's world upside down. It will, make the reader stop to take a look into the void of uncertainty, if only for a moment. This book was well written, sober in tone and fascinating.

  2. 4 out of 5

    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 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 novelistic adventure that wraps up conclusively by the end, having settled something. (After all, if we think of the time, trouble and expense it has taken our research team to travel around the world and gather these cases over the course of years, it's cheeky to ask them for more without giving them a grant for more staff.) Really, though, that narrative flatness is just one more telltale of what I like best about it: the author's doggedly rigorous approach to his own epistemology, and his subject's. Not a professional scientist, Tom Schroder nevertheless understands in his bones the ceaseless, methodical vigil for unaccounted variables that must characterize well-conducted scientific research. That makes him exactly the sort of person I want evaluating and presenting the case for a controversial-at-best body of research. The bottom line, if you don't mind a spoiler, is that a good hard look into Ian Stevenson's work makes clear that reincarnation is a viable hypothesis that must in good conscience be taken seriously, for want of any other, more plausible explanation of the persistent phenomenon of children reporting memories from other lives--and that it falls somewhere short of proof that reincarnation is the correct explanation. The book does not conclude, as others have claimed, with the author's being convinced. He is interested and sympathetic to Stevenson's line of inquiry, he has some specific quibbles and other hypotheses to which he is also sympathetic, and he is still watching and waiting, warily, to see how the evidence turns next. And so he will continue, unto his grave. Like any good scientist. --- I will add that I have seen before the phenomenon Dr. Stevenson confronts in showing his work to the greater scientific community: people who dare to conduct serious inquiries into subjects widely considered superstitious bunk, no matter how pure their method, will be dismissed out of hand by a majority of professional scientists. And they know this, and so one finds ever and anon the spectacle of a scientist whose rigor, both in conducting research and in presenting it, is far above and beyond the usual standard within the profession, but whose work is as lightly dismissed as the rambles of a drunken undergraduate. It is critically important for scientists to remember that science is a process, and only a process: a method for pursuing questions, not a reputation or a title or a habit or a stance. And that process, the scientific method, includes no step for determining which questions are the right ones to pursue. And so all scientific inquiry is governed, at its inception, by a decisionmaking process that is never scientific in its own right. The choice of which questions to ask is beyond the reach of the sainted method itself. The profession would do well to remember that, always, and be warned against hubris, the scientific method's most lethal and remorseless enemy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    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 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 and Biology Intersect, and... well, you get the idea. I have great respect for a man of Dr. Stevenson's stature, the decades of work he put into a very thankless area of research, and the tremendous care he took to always be alert for the false leads, the tempting but dubious "evidence", and easy answers. He was no doubt the greatest living authority on reincarnation as a subject of scientific inquiry until his recent passing, and he will be greatly missed. His contribution in this field was beyond reckoning. But for all his virtues, Dr. Stevenson had one grave failing as an author: he was a scientist, first and foremost, and he wrote like one. If you're a scientist, reading his books, that's good. If you're not a scientist but a reader of more general literature, it's not so good. Dr. Stevenson's own writing is careful, scrupulous, detailed, meticulous... and sorry to say it, but rather dull. He's so busy avoiding the sensational and splashy, and getting all the detail in careful, studious investigations that he can be a slow, tedious read. You can't really fault him for that - he knew how many conventional so-called scientists couldn't wait to stick the metaphorical knife into him for the smallest slip-ups, a much more harsh and severe grilling than most of them ever got for being play-it-safe conformists and good little unquestioning materialist true believers. (And from where I sit, if there's anything a real scientist should never be, it's unquestioning.) Alas, all this caution and restraint doesn't make Stevenson any easier to read, and I have to take breathers between his books so I can have a little fun and perk myself up. However, Tom Shroder is not a scientist. He's a reporter, a journalist, someone who is much better with a snappy phrase, a descriptive metaphor, maybe even occasionally a little light alliteration... a much more bouncy, flavorful read. Where this all comes together is that Shroder was allowed to "tag along" with Dr. Stevenson as he went about his business of traveling to remote parts of the world and meeting and talking to people, some of whom really didn't want to talk very much, about things their children did or said that suggested the probability of reincarnation. So this book is not so much an attempt to convince anyone that reincarnation is possible, probable or factual. I find it to be a rather telling portrait of Dr. Stevenson, however, and that's what I wanted. If I want convincing scientific evidence of reincarnation, I'll read Stevenson himself, and cut out the middle-man. But Stevenson never draws much of a portrait of himself at any time in his own writing, so this book filled a void that had gone unfilled for much too long. I enjoyed it greatly. I suggest this book to those who enjoy biographies, or who find science inspiring but may not have the patience for the meticulous and painstaking detail, and particularly for those who appreciate Dr. Stevenson, but would like to celebrate his life and work with something a little more bracing and adventurous than his own serious writings. This book will almost allow you to have your cake and eat it too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    D

    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 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 get from the data? well... the journalist doesn't really give us anything more than the presentation. Believe it or not. It's still up to you. He doesn't present what Stevenson, the researcher believes to be the relevance or explanations or meanings behind these cases. Too bad. Interesting, not compelling. Very fast read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    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 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 I didn't realize.) In the last chapter he talks about an American case, and maybe because it was in America I found it the most compelling. A haunting, thought provoking read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    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 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 author's feelings about them throughout seemed pretty much akin to mine. The best part of the book IMO was the last section, when the author investigates a couple of cases in the US (rather than in Lebanon and India where the others were), and also relates an incident that occurred when he was a young man, which gives him insight into his feelings about the cases he has seen and puts everything into a special perspective.

  7. 5 out of 5

    erin

    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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Balbinder Dobe

    Waste of time. It is written in a novel / story type of style. Not much substance apart from the odd case here and there. I got half way through and just thought this is a waste of my time. The guy might be journalist or writer but going through this book was like walking in treacle. I want facts and information presented in a way that is easy to read and digest. That is not what this guy provides. Don't waste your time reading this book unless you have nothing better to do wit your time and want Waste of time. It is written in a novel / story type of style. Not much substance apart from the odd case here and there. I got half way through and just thought this is a waste of my time. The guy might be journalist or writer but going through this book was like walking in treacle. I want facts and information presented in a way that is easy to read and digest. That is not what this guy provides. Don't waste your time reading this book unless you have nothing better to do wit your time and want something while you watch paint dry or the grass grow.

  9. 5 out of 5

    claudia

    I have always been fascinated with reincarnation. I strongly believe it to be real, and after reading these stories, my opinion is strongly confirmed. The only reason why I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is because all the stories are from other other researchers. Nonetheless, all breathtaking.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Sampson

    Fascinating... and an excellent presentation of science in comprehensive narrative. Makes me want to read more like this.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David

    More memoir than a investigation/critique of Ian Stevenson's work. For those preferring this, it will be an enjoyable read, for those looking for more not so much. Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sab Cornelius

    https://readerdemon.com/oldsouls/ <--- I do book blogging on the side, so posted my full review here. [Site is currently A WIP] https://readerdemon.com/oldsouls/ ‎ ‎ <--- I do book blogging on the side, so posted my full review here. [Site is currently A WIP]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    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 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 about Dr. Ian Stevenson. Stevenson has traveled the world investigating claims of reincarnation and to Shroder's luck, invites him to come along to some of his last trips to Lebanon and India. Their first stop is Lebanon where they meet with several families, and with the help of their translator Majd, talk with them about their experiences. Most of the people claiming reincarnation here are now older and this is more of a follow-up of Stevenson's original work. They first started experiencing different memories of a child and people around them claimed that they knew things only family members would have known. What makes their stories even more compelling as they are not picking out rich people to say they were once, but rather everyday people. One person, Daniel, believes that he was a mechanic in the past life. So clearly, for some, money is not a motive in these claims. They then move on to India where they meet a couple children claiming they were reincarnated, and attempt to track down the story of another, who didn't experience their "reincarnation" until they were eighteen. They are largely skeptical of this story, especially when they cannot contact the woman claiming it and her family gives them trouble. At the end of the book they move on to some cases in the United States, but they seem rushed and not near as much detail is given about them. Shroder, as a writer, to me is boring. He has such a fascinating subject with reincarnation but he jumps around so much and gives so much useless detail that the reading has trouble mucking about through this book. If he had cleaned up his writing and included more on the actual research instead of all their issues traveling (he goes on and on about the unsafe driving conditions in India) I think I would have enjoyed this book quite a bit more. However, while I am complaining about this detail of his writing, had the book been about traveling to these places it would have been immensely enjoyable. The fact is though, this book was about reincarnation and should have leaned more to writing about that. Shroder is also a bit waffly on his beliefs on the subject. He offers plenty of criticism in one paragraph, then moves on to the next to be incredulous at some of the facts presented. Yet, he never comes out and clearly states what his reaction or beliefs are when presented with the evidence and face to face testimonies. I think its a bit of a cop out that he never fully says what he is thinking. An interesting concept but he could have done so much more with it. Because of his way of bouncing about the subject matter, I only rate this book as average. Old Souls Copyright 1999 253 pages + a section of pictures Review by M. Reynard 2010

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    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 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 impressed with how accepting people in Lebanon and India are of reincarnation. It is a part of their daily lives and religious beliefs. The author made a very funny and accurate statement. He said that it is hard to get funding for past life research because in the east it is so commonplace that they wonder why you would ever need to research it and in the west it is such an 'out there' concept that they feel that it is a waste of money.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    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 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 would want to make an inquiry into it. Ultimately the author, a journalist who traveled with Stevenson on a couple of his last field studies, comes to the conclusion that there is something out there, but while he can't prove reincarnation, neither can he discount its evidence out of hand. Square one. Still, an interesting read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    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 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 reincarnation and children. One fascinating topic I wish would have been more fully explored is the birthmarks on children and how they may or may not correspond to the wounds on the body of their PP (previous personality).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Don

    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 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 this book, it suffers from the journalist eye for describing the environment vs. offering more insight on the topic. With only a few cases highlighted in the book, Shroder spends too much time in the minute details of the setting, people and his own thoughts.

  18. 5 out of 5

    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 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 the possibility of reincarnation, which I was definitely not expecting to happen from reading this book. Enjoyable and easy to read and digest as well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    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 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 know if it qualifies as "scientific evidence" but it is very fascinating.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    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 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 suggest you go pick up a copy, you'll have goosebumps!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tiff

    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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    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.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christina Wright

    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.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    definitely compelling

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