Hard as it is to believe, during the early Twentieth Century, a whole school of mental health professionals decided that unconditional love was a terrible thing to give a child. The government printed pamphlets warning mothers against the dangers of holding their kids. The head of the American Psychological Association and even a mothers' organization endorsed the position that mothers were dangerous — until psychologist Harry Harlow set out to prove them wrong, through a series of experiments with monkeys. Ira Glass talks with Deborah Blum, author of Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection.
Learn more or listen again to this week's episode, which originally aired September 15, 2006.