Reviews of Entwined Lives

From Boston Globe

Thoroughly researched, annotated, and footnoted, Entwined Lives is impressive in the breadth of its study...

From Booknews

An exploration of behavioral and biological aspects of human twins which discusses both experimental data and anecdotes from twins and their parents. Among the topics treated are twins' language patterns, the biological bases of identical and fraternal twinning, how twin studies affect legal decisions and settlements, and what twin research tells us about athletic skill. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

From Library Journal

In the most significant survey of twin research to date, Segal (director of the Twins Study Ctr. at California State Univ., Fullerton, and a fraternal twin herself) illustrates that by using twins as "living laboratories" we can sort out which aspects of twins' lives are influenced by genetic inheritance, and, in turn, we can begin to "lay bare the basis of human behavior." Drawing on all sorts of twin studies, Segal describes twin types and elaborates on findings regarding the development of personality and intelligence. She also looks closely at twin relationships (including conjoined twins) to understand grief, competition, bonding, cooperation, and more. Most refreshing are Segal's frank discussion of the complications inherent in the research and her many proposals for further research. Though her prose is dense, it holds plenty for anyone interested in twins or in fine questions of human development and evolutionary psychology. This is an excellent supplement to Lawrence Wright's more popularly written Twins: And What They Tell Us About Who We Are (Wiley, 1997). Recommended for academic and public libraries.--Rebecca Miller, "Library Journal" Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

From Kirkus

A comprehensive survey of twin research that includes an impressive array of twin-related data in an anecdote-filled and entertaining presentation. Segal, a twin herself, directs the Twins Study Center at California State University, Fullerton, and was formerly with the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (its director, Thomas Bouchard, has written the foreword). Clearly fascinated by her subject, she assumes, probably quite rightly, that interest in twins, especially identical twins, is widespread. Identical twins are, she notes, "the reflecting pools whose altered images teach us how the range of environmental influences shape developmental outcomes.'' Stories about the remarkable similarities between identical twins reunited after being raised separately are irresistible, and while Segal includes them, she goes far beyond such material. She discusses in detail what twin research has revealed about individuality, identity, and questions of nature-vs.-nurture in intelligence, personality development, and athletic prowess. Segal also considers such topics as pseudo-twins (i.e., same-age unrelated individuals reared together), the special relationship of twins with each other, the effects of one twin's death on the other, how fertility treatments have impacted multiple births, the difference between a clone and an identical twin, and twinning in the animal kingdom. Her interviews with some noteworthy twins, such as the Shapiro brothers, who both became university presidents, are especially revealing. Even the unique problems of conjoined, or Siamese, twins are treated. Its comprehensiveness and its extensive notes make this a valuable source for psychologists and other students of twinning; twins, parents of twins, and anyone who ever wished for a twin will also find much to savor here. (36 b&w photos).