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

Category: Book
By (author): Kean, Sam
Subject:  MEDICAL / Neurology
  SCIENCE / History
  SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology
  SCIENCE / Life Sciences / General
  SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Neuroscience
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Published: June 2015
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 432
Size: 8.25in x 5.50in x 1.12in
Our Price:
$ 24.50
Availability:
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*From the author of the bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb, fascinating tales of the brain and the history of neuroscience.

Early studies of the functions of the human brain used a simple method: wait for misfortune to strike-strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, lobotomies, horrendous accidents-and see how the victim coped. In many cases survival was miraculous, and observers could only marvel at the transformations that took place afterward, altering victims' personalities. An injury to one section can leave a person unable to recognize loved ones; some brain trauma can even make you a pathological gambler, pedophile, or liar. But a few scientists realized that these injuries were an opportunity for studying brain function at its extremes. With lucid explanations and incisive wit, Sam Kean explains the brain's secret passageways while recounting forgotten stories of common people whose struggles, resiliency, and deep humanity made modern neuroscience possible.
Review Quote*"This is Sam Kean's finest work yet, an entertaining and offbeat history of the brain populated with mad scientists, deranged criminals, geniuses, and wretched souls. The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons is one of those books that will have you following your friends around, reading passages out loud, until they snatch the book away from you and read it for themselves. Good luck getting it back."-Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist
Review Quote*"Put your Netflix queue on hold. Sam Kean's The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons will command your full attention from the first page. It's not just an engaging guide to mysteries of existence; it's compelling story-telling for anyone with a taste for the bizarre and metaphysical."-William Poundstone, author of Rock Breaks Scissors
Review Quote*"In tale after tale, best-selling author Kean provides a fascinating, and at times gloriously gory, look at how early efforts in neurosurgery were essentially a medical guessing game.... Entertaining and quotable, Kean's writing is sharp, and each individual story brings the history of neuroscience to life. Compulsively readable, wicked scientific fun."-Kirkus
Review Quote*"Strokes, seizures, accidents: if they don't kill, they can traumatize the brain so badly that an individual's personality can be significantly changed. But, explains New York Times best-selling author of the terrific The Violinist's Thumb, early neuroscientists saw such traumas as an opportunity to study the brain's wondrous workings."-Library Journal, "Barbara's Picks"
Review Quote*"Reading this collection is like touring a museum of neuroscience's most dramatic anomalies, each chapter taking us to a different place and time.... Kean's colloquial language and intimate voice bring all of this series of mini-histories to life -- all of which are sure to stimulate a wide range of brains."-Publishers Weekly
Review Quote*"To pick up one of these stories is to lose oneself in them. Where does the brain end and the mind begin? Curious readers will find both brain and mind fully revved up while engaging with this powerfully appealing and thought-provoking work of neuroscience history."-Donna Chavez, Booklist
Review Quote*"The author's skill in illuminating how the brain functions and malfunctions manifest themselves in people's lives makes for absorbing reading....These avowals ultimately raise weighty, compelling questions about the nature of identity and what it means to be human."-The Wall Street Journal
Review Quote*"Beyond paying tribute to the scientific advances these patients made possible, Kean humanizes the patients themselves."-Scientific American
Review Quote*"After tackling DNA and the periodic table in his previous books, Kean has moved on to the human brain, which he dissects via dozens of vivid anecdotes.... His subtle meta touches are a heady delight."-Joe McGovern, Entertainment Weekly