William Sidis, 1897-1944, was the world's greatest child prodigy. His IQ was an estiamted 50 to 100 points higher than Einstein's, the highest ever recorded or estimated. His father, a pioneer in the field of abnormal psychology, believed that he and his wife could create a genius in the cradle. They hung alphabet blocks over the baby's crib-and within six months little Billy was speaking. At 18 months he was reading The New York Times; at three, Homer in the original Greek. At six he spoke at least seven languages.
Told with flair and insight ... this is his story.
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A tarnished national treasure lost forever
Among biographies, this book ranks highly and is very thorough in its treatment of the subject. A very worthwhile listen and the best that I've heard this year.
The relationship with his sister Helena was perhaps the most uplifting as she was the one person in the family who never turned her back on her brother.
He does a very good job of keeping the listener enthralled throughout the telling of the story. There are only two small slips of the audio whereby a sentence is repeated twice.
The book kept me captivated throughout and also served as a cautionary tale for me as a father.
The author is almost completely silent on why the father was never mentioned again, either positively or negatively after his passing. This was surprising, since the relationship seems to have been much stronger than that of the one between William and his mother.
- Tom B.
Interesting, credible account.