Books: The Professor of Love

A new biography of psychologist Harry Harlow reveals how he put the heart at the center of things

Harry Harlow is probably the most famous psychologist you've never heard of. Back in the 1960s, his work was widely covered in the press--and with good reason. Through a series of brilliant experiments, Harlow proved that love, despite what most of his colleagues believed, plays a crucial role in mental well-being. The idea that such a thing needed proving in the first place seems bizarre today. But as Deborah Blum explains in Love at Goon Park (Perseus; 336 pages), her thorough and beautifully written biography of Harlow, it made perfect sense in the context of mid--20th century psychology.

At the...

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