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What if your parents turned you into a human lab rat on the day you were born? Would that change the story of your life? Would that change who you are?
When Susannah Breslin is a toddler, her parents enroll her in an exclusive laboratory preschool at the University of California, Berkeley, where she becomes one of 128 children who are research subjects in an unprecedented 30-year psychological experiment that predicts who she and her cohort will grow up to be. Decades later, trapped in an abusive marriage to a man with a violent history and battling breast cancer, she starts to wonder how growing up under a microscope shaped the person she became and her life choices. Is she the narrator of the story of her life—or is something else? Already a successful journalist, whose published work has appeared in Forbes, The Atlantic, and Harper’s Bazaar, she decides to make her own curious history the subject of her next investigation and embarks on a life-changing journey that will expose the dark secrets hidden behind the renowned longitudinal study of personality development that she grew up believing knew her better than she knew herself.
Fearlessly vulnerable, unflinchingly raw, and lyrically written, this groundbreaking book is a remarkable account of a woman’s quest to reclaim her voice and an unblinking expose of why we turn out as we do. Data Baby’s story is unlike any other, but its message is universal. Sometimes you have to give up everything you have to become the person you were truly meant to be.
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