Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience

Michael S. Gazzaniga. Ecco, $28.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-222880-2
Gazzaniga (Who’s in Charge?), who helped develop the left-right theory of the brain, tells a winding tale of a life lived in science and the joys of bringing science to the public. Gazzaniga’s work on the “split brain” case studies spanned decades, universities, and medical schools, but as he makes clear, there’s much more to a life than the pursuit of science as a career. Outside his research, Gazzaniga kept busy by organizing public debates featuring William F. Buckley Jr. and others, which led Buckley to invite him on Firing Line and to write pieces for National Review, including a spoof of the Pentagon Papers. But the substance of his work with patients is also covered in exhaustive detail that conveys how science is made: “slowly, with lots of people contributing.” Less successfully, episodes from Gazzaniga’s personal life—marriages, burials, new houses, job searches—are also included. Perhaps these show the contours of an academic life, but they read drily. Gazzaniga’s book is of great interest to those embarking on careers in pure research, and to anyone intrigued by the story of one of the greatest discoveries in cognition. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/22/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4815-3296-9
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-222881-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-237341-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4815-3297-6
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-9697-5
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-06-222885-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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