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How the Brain Lost its Mind Reviews

How the Brain Lost its Mind by Allan H Ropper, Brian Burrell

How the Brain Lost Its Mind

Sex, Hysteria, and the Riddle of Mental Illness

Allan H Ropper, Brian Burrell

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: Avery Publishing Group
Publisher: Avery Publishing Group
Publication date: 20 Aug 2019
ISBN: 9780735214552

How the Brain Lost Its Mind tells the rich and compelling story of two confounding ailments, syphilis and hysteria, and the extraordinary efforts to confront their effects on mental life. How does the mind work? Where does madness lie, in the brain or in the mind? How should it be treated? 

5 stars out of 5
3 Jan 2020

"a complex and convoluted story but one made highly readable and hugely entertaining by this authoritative book."

In this absorbing and scholarly book, Allan Ropper and Brian Burrell home in on Charcot’s strange shows as the seminal moment when psychiatry and neurology split and began their journeys along separate but intertwining paths towards a partial convergence today... The questions Burrell and Ropper raise are as intriguing as their answers. How do we distinguish between brain and mind? And which mind do we mean: our accumulation of experiences or the way we process them? It’s a complex and convoluted story but one made highly readable and hugely entertaining by this authoritative book.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
3 Jan 2020

"For all the intriguing stories and fairly fluid style, this book is a difficult read"

For all the intriguing stories and fairly fluid style, this book is a difficult read. Every few paragraphs it makes a fresh start, with a new character, at a different point in history. These points are not always in chronological order. So we have: “In 1912, six years into his infection, Adrian Leverkühn’s tertiary stage syphilis . . .” Then two pages later: “Had Thomas Mann not become a writer . . .” Three paragraphs on: “In 1884, a year before Sigmund Freud set off for Paris . . .” At about the tenth of these jump-starts you begin to panic. Will these threads be picked up again? Many will not. At about the 20th the very symptoms the authors describe start to set in. Confusion, detachment, headache.