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Asperger’s Syndrome and High Achievement Some Very Remarkable People

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Book - Asperger’s Syndrome and High Achievement Some Very Remarkable People

by: Ioan James

About the author:

Ioan James is Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University, UK.

ISBN: 978-1-84310-388-2

Year: 2005

Publication Info: 224pp


This fascinating collection identifies famous figures from the past whose behaviour suggests they may have had autism, a disorder that was not defined until the mid-20th century. James looks at the lives of 20 individuals – scientists, artists, politicians and philosophers – examining in detail their interests, successes, indifferences and shortcomings.

Among the profiles are those of mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell, who wondered in his autobiography how he managed to hurt the people around him quite without meaning to; biologist Alfred Kinsey, who excelled in academia but was ill at ease in social situations; and the writer Patricia Highsmith, who had very definite likes (fountain pens and absence of noise) and dislikes (television and four-course meals). From Albert Einstein to Philip of Spain, these intriguing individuals all showed clear evidence of autistic traits.

This book will be of interest to general readers and anyone with a personal or professional interest in autism.



Preface. Introduction. 1. Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). 2. Philip of Spain (1527-1598). 3. Isaac Newton (1642-1726). 4. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745). 5. John Howard (c.1726-1790). 6. Henry Cavendish (1731-1810). 7. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). 8. Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). 9. Eric Satie (1866-1925). 10. Bertrand Russell (1872-1970). 11. Albert Einstein (1879-1955). 12. BÌ©la BartÌ_k (1881-1945). 13. Ramanujan (1887-1920). 14. Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951). 15. Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956). 16. Simone Weil (1909-1943). 17. Alan Turig (1912-1954). 18. Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995). 19. Andy Warhol (1929-1987). 20. Glenn Gould (1932-1982). Conclusion. References. Index.



Twenty biographical accounts are arranged chronologically. Each offers basic facts about the life and accomplishments of the individual, and includes accounts of their behaviors, their own views of their challenges and accomplishments as well as the perceptions of their contemporaries.

Taken together, these twenty biographies offer me insights into human diversity and the importance of accepting ourselves and others for our strengths as well as our idiosyncrasies. As a teacher it helps me both understand and appreciate unique children.


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