Accidental Brothers: Book summary and reviews of Accidental Brothers by Dr. Nancy L. Segal

Accidental Brothers

The Story of Twins Exchanged at Birth and the Power of Nature and Nurture

by Dr. Nancy L. Segal

Accidental Brothers by Dr. Nancy L. Segal X
Accidental Brothers by Dr. Nancy L. Segal
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Book Summary

The riveting story of two sets of identical twins separated at birth and improbably reunited as adults, a dream case for exploring nature and nurture.

Accidental Brothers tells the unique story of two sets of identical Colombian twin brothers who discovered at age 25 that they were mistakenly raised as fraternal twins, when they were not even biological brothers. Due to an oversight that presumably occurred in the hospital nursery, one twin in each pair was switched with a twin in the other pair. The result was two sets of unrelated "fraternal" twins, Jorge and Carlos, who were raised in the lively city of Bogotá; and William and Wilber, who were raised in the remote rural village of La Paz, 150 miles away. Their parents and siblings were aware of the enormous physical and behavioral differences between the members of each set, but never doubted that the two belonged in their biological families.

Everyone's life unraveled when one of the twins, William, was mistaken by a young woman for his real identical twin, Jorge. Her "discovery" led to the truth - that the alleged twins were not twins at all, but rather unrelated individuals who ended up with the wrong families.

Blending great science and human interest, Accidental Brothers by Nancy L. Segal and Yesika S. Montoya will inform and entertain anyone interested in how twin studies illuminate the origins of human behavior, as well as mother-infant identification and the chance events that can have profound consequences on our lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In exploring the impact that random events can have on personality formation and life chances, this study of the role nature and nurture play in upbringing sheds illuminating light on the meaning of family. A compellingly readable tale of identity formation." - Kirkus

"The fascinating case of two sets of identical twins in Colombia who were switched at birth, and only reunited at age 25, receives a plodding treatment from psychologist Segal." - Publishers Weekly

"The rare group of switched-at-birth identical twins is not just fascinating, but a unique window into human behavior and development. Accidental Brothers brilliantly captures the extraordinary story of two pairs of exchanged identical male twins in Colombia, South America, tracing their separation, growing up years, chance reunion and ultimate coming to terms with the profound impact of the switch on their lives." - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

"Nancy Segal describes a birth mix-up that takes 'mistaken identity' to a whole new level, with two sets of twins involved in the switch. So many layers of complications! Her research offers a new way to think about thorny questions regarding genes, environment, and destiny." - Robin Marantz Henig, author of Pandora's Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive Revolution

This information about Accidental Brothers was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Dr. Nancy L. Segal

Dr. Nancy L. Segal is Professor of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and Director of the Twin Studies Center, which she founded in 1991. Dr. Segal has authored over 200 scientific articles and book chapters, as well as several books on twins, including Born Together-Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study. Dr. Segal was recognized by the Orange County Register as one of the hundred most influential people in Orange County, California in 2014.

Yesika S. Montoya is a psychologist in her native country of Colombia, with a degree from the Universidad Santo Tomas (2000). She earned a Master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University (2005), and has clinical work experience providing psychotherapy to children, adolescents, adults, and people affected by homelessness, mental illness, chemical addiction and HIV. Ms. Montoya also worked with the rescue, recovery and clean-up workers after the 9/11 attacks in New York City. She is currently employed in higher education as an Associate Director of Advising and an adjunct faculty member at the Columbia University School of Social Work.

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