The Case for Make Believe: A New Book by CCFC's Susan Linn

Date of Release: 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Contact: Anne Sullivan,
Publicity Director, The New Press
Phone: 212-564-4406 email: 

The Case For Make Believe

by Susan Linn

The New Press / April 22, 2008

“Her research is comprehensive, her firsthand knowledge is impressive, and her examples are damning in their conclusions. Linn brings invaluable expertise to this well-organized and straightforward exploration of a neglected subject.” –Booklist

“Linn argues that the contemporary reliance on media and toys based on media stifles children's imaginations and ability to cope with the world as life progresses. This is a welcome addition to such books as D.W. Winnicott's Playing and Reality, Bruno Bettleheim's The Uses of Enchantment, and Mihaly Csiksznentmihaly's Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.” –Library Journal

In the critically acclaimed Consuming Kids (The New Press, 2004), Susan Linn, the nation's leading advocate for protecting children from corporate marketers, provided an unsparing look at modern childhood molded by commercialism.  In her new book, THE CASE FOR MAKE BELIEVE, Dr. Linn argues that while play is crucial to human development and children are born with an innate capacity for make believe, the convergence of ubiquitous technology and unfettered commercialism actually prevents them from playing. In modern day America, nurturing creative play is not only countercultural—it threatens corporate profits.

At the heart of the book are gripping stories of children at home, at school, and in a therapist’s office using make believe to grapple with real-life issues from entering kindergarten to the death of a sibling. In an age when toys come from TV shows, dress-up means wearing Disney costumes, and parents believe Baby Einstein is educational, Dr. Linn lays out the inextricable links between play, creativity, and health, showing us why we need to protect our children from corporations that aim to limit their imaginations. 

For a review copy or to schedule an interview with Dr. Linn, please contact Anne Sullivan (

Susan Linn, Ed.D. is the Associate Director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Children's Center and Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School  and the Director of The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, which she co-founded. She is an award-winning ventriloquist internationally recognized for her pioneering use of puppets for play therapy with children. Her work has been seen on Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, The Today Show, and Good Morning AmericaIn 2000, she was appointed to the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Advertising to Children. In 2006, she received the American Psychological Association's Presidential Citation for her work on behalf of children. Dr. Linn lives in Boston, MA.  


The Case for Make Believe:
Saving Play in a Commercialized World
by Susan Linn
The New Press / April 22, 2008
Hardcover / $24.95 / 272 pages
ISBN: 978-1-56584-970-9