Size Matters by Stephen S. Hall
How Height Affects the Health, Happiness, and Success of Boys - and the Men They Become

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Synopsis

An award-winning journalist tackles the hot topic of male body image and shows how physical size during childhood affects our psychology, social status, relationships, and income as adults.

With a mix of fresh research, incisive reportage, and bracing candor, Size Matters traces the surprising history of society’s bias against shortness and reveals how short people can and do thrive in spite of this insidious bigotry. Drawing on his own childhood experiences (he was shorter than 99 percent of boys his age), Stephen Hall explains the evolution of the growth chart, the biology of childhood aggression, and the wrenching phenomenon of bullying. He explores the factors that determine why one child’s small stature may lead to anguish while another short child develops an emotional resilience that will enrich his later life. Weaving together recent findings from the fields of animal behavior, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Hall assesses the role of physical size in mating success and argues that the alpha male may not be king of the mountain after all.
Hall also pinpoints the social forces that create and cash in on our anxieties about size, from bulked-up superhero action figures to pharmaceutical companies selling growth hormone to increase a child’s height -- at a cost of up to $40,000 a year. He introduces us to families who have agonized over whether to make that huge investment. He explains new research showing that a person’s height as a teenager has lifelong psychological consequences. He even tracks down kids he bullied in elementary school and kids who bullied him in high school to show that these childhood encounters have lasting effects on our adult lives. Along the way, Hall builds a persuasive case against societal attitudes that make size (or any difference) matter and argues forcefully that being short has psychological, social, and biological advantages. Size Matters will raise the consciousness -- and the spirits -- of any short male and anyone who cares about him.
 

About Stephen S. Hall

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STEPHEN S. HALL is the author of Merchants of Immortality and three other acclaimed works of science reportage. He writes frequently for the New York Times Magazine, Discover, and other magazines. He is 5'53/4” and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his 5'9” wife and their two average-size children.
 
Published September 12, 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 405 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Hall argues that while size does matter, environment matters just as much, and he finds simplistic the reports on the height of CEOs that equate tallness with leadership qualities, pointing to research indicating that it is the height of a boy at age 16 that influences future wages.

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The New York Times

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Are tall men really fated to do better in life? A short man explores the question.

Nov 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Size Matters: How Height Affe...

Publishers Weekly

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That may sound extreme, but science reporter Hall (Merchants of Immorality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension) marshals a broad, deep range of information in this fascinating study to show us how much size matters in the way society conceptualizes masculinity and how badly we treat those...

Jul 17 2006 | Read Full Review of Size Matters: How Height Affe...

People

• Tall men earn more, but it's their height as adolescents that correlates most with earnings.

Dec 18 2006 | Read Full Review of Size Matters: How Height Affe...

News Review.

For example, trumpeter Steve Roach is director of jazz studies at Sacramento State, pianist Joe Gilman teaches at American River College and is music director of the educational oriented Capital Jazz Project, and saxophonist Josh Murray and trumpeter Max Kiesner teach in the acclaimed jazz progra...

Aug 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Size Matters: How Height Affe...

News Review.

Henri was thrilled recently to learn that Johnnie’s Restaurant, in the Hotel Diamond, had revamped its kitchen and menu—not only because he had been decidedly unimpressed with the restaurant’s initial offerings, but also because the new edition specialized in tapas.

Oct 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Size Matters: How Height Affe...

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