The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

Sam Kean. Little, Brown, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-18234-8
Science writer Kean (The Disappearing Spoon) delves into the strange ways we've learned about the workings of our brains, rejuvenating with invigorating detail anecdotes that otherwise receive only brief textbook mention. Even his organization, with each chapter devoted to a particular scientific discovery, is assembled to be most effectively processed by the brain and its capacities for chunking smaller units of information. Reading this collection is like touring a museum of neuroscience's most dramatic anomalies, each chapter taking us to a different place and time. We see how the death of King Henry II of France initiated a curiosity for anatomy that persists today, learn that some of the most innovative theories of neuron function came from studying frog hearts, and how Paul Broca discovered the brain's "first language node." Of course, no collection of science's most enlightening maladies is complete without mention of Phineas Gage's famous incident with a tamping iron, but here it is rendered afresh. Indeed, Kean's colloquial language and intimate voice bring all of this series of mini-histories to lifeā€”all of which are sure to stimulate a wide range of brains. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/28/2014
Release date: 05/06/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 230 pages - 978-0-316-24226-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-0121-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-0118-1
Hardcover - 978-0-316-28648-0
Hardcover - 579 pages - 978-1-4104-7156-7
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-316-18235-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-316-24225-7
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