Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0345805895

Category: Psychology

Page: 336

View: 6248

Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands--their remoteness, their mystery, above all the unique forms of life they harbor. For him, islands conjure up equally the romance of Melville and Stevenson, the adventure of Magellan and Cook, and the scientific wonder of Darwin and Wallace. Drawn to the tiny Pacific atoll of Pingelap by intriguing reports of an isolated community of islanders born totally color-blind, Sacks finds himself setting up a clinic in a one-room island dispensary, where he listens to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow. And on Guam, where he goes to investigate the puzzling neurodegenerative paralysis endemic there for a century, he becomes, for a brief time, an island neurologist, making house calls with his colleague John Steele, amid crowing cockerels, cycad jungles, and the remains of a colonial culture. The islands reawaken Sacks's lifelong passion for botany--in particular, for the primitive cycad trees, whose existence dates back to the Paleozoic--and the cycads are the starting point for an intensely personal reflection on the meaning of islands, the dissemination of species, the genesis of disease, and the nature of deep geologic time. Out of an unexpected journey, Sacks has woven an unforgettable narrative which immerses us in the romance of island life, and shares his own compelling vision of the complexities of being human. From the Hardcover edition.
Read More

And, Cycad Island

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9780330350822

Category: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Page: 360

View: 6804

Always fascinated by islands, Oliver Sacks is drawn to the Pacific by reports of the tiny atoll of Pingelap, with its isolated community of islanders born totally colour-blind; and to Guam, where he investigates a puzzling paralysis endemic there for a century. Along the way, he re-encounters the beautiful, primitive island cycad trees – and these become the starting point for a meditation on time and evolution, disease and adaptation, and islands both real and metaphorical. ‘Sacks is rightly renowned for his empathy . . . anyone with a taste for the exotic will find this beautifully written book highly engaging’ Anthony Storr, Sunday Times ‘This is a wonderful book, made better by Sacks’ exceptionally gentle descriptions of patients. He also captures the unimaginable sadness of the Pacific’ Spectator ‘Dr Sacks is an elegant and beguiling writer, and when he describes a condition such as achromatopsia (total colour-blindness), he is not content merely to describe it from the outside, but he tries to imagine what the world is like to a person with the condition’ Sunday Telegraph ‘There is no one at the present time who writes like Oliver Sacks . . . He is a superb clinician who can take a seemingly arid and obscure medical condition, and convert it into a moving, personal odyssey, a testament of tenacity, courage and will’ Anthony Clare, Literary Review
Read More

A Journey Into the World of the Deaf

Author: Oliver W. Sacks

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520060838

Category: Social Science

Page: 180

View: 5671

A neurologist investigates the world of the deaf, examining their past and present treatment at the hands of society, and assesses the value and significance of sign language.
Read More

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 030795725X

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 7249

Have you ever seen something that wasn’t really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world. Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres. Those who are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one’s own body. Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics. These, along with his early migraine experiences, launched a lifelong investigation into the varieties of hallucinatory experience. Here, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr. Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture’s folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition.
Read More

Seven Paradoxical Tales

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0345805887

Category: Psychology

Page: 336

View: 2929

To these seven narratives of neurological disorder Dr. Sacks brings the same humanity, poetic observation, and infectious sense of wonder that are apparent in his bestsellers Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. These men, women, and one extraordinary child emerge as brilliantly adaptive personalities, whose conditions have not so much debilitated them as ushered them into another reality.
Read More

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307594556

Category: Psychology

Page: 256

View: 2976

In The Mind’s Eye, Oliver Sacks tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the capacity to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, the sense of sight. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to a radically new way of being in the world. There is Lilian, a concert pianist who becomes unable to read music and is eventually unable even to recognize everyday objects, and Sue, a neurobiologist who has never seen in three dimensions, until she suddenly acquires stereoscopic vision in her fifties. There is Pat, who reinvents herself as a loving grandmother and active member of her community, despite the fact that she has aphasia and cannot utter a sentence, and Howard, a prolific novelist who must find a way to continue his life as a writer even after a stroke destroys his ability to read. And there is Dr. Sacks himself, who tells the story of his own eye cancer and the bizarre and disconcerting effects of losing vision to one side. Sacks explores some very strange paradoxes—people who can see perfectly well but cannot recognize their own children, and blind people who become hyper-visual or who navigate by “tongue vision.” He also considers more fundamental questions: How do we see? How do we think? How important is internal imagery—or vision, for that matter? Why is it that, although writing is only five thousand years old, humans have a universal, seemingly innate, potential for reading? The Mind’s Eye is a testament to the complexity of vision and the brain and to the power of creativity and adaptation. And it provides a whole new perspective on the power of language and communication, as we try to imagine what it is to see with another person’s eyes, or another person’s mind. From the Hardcover edition.
Read More

Understanding a Common Disorder

Author: Oliver W. Sacks

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520051997

Category: Migraine

Page: 270

View: 3680

In recent years the bestselling Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat have received great critical acclaim, but Oliver Sacks's readers may remember that he began his medical career working with migraine patients. In this, the latest edition of "Migraine," he returns to his first book and enriches it with additional case histories, new findings, and practical information on treatment. To define "migraine, " suggests Oliver Sacks, one must embrace the dizzying variety of experiences of its sufferers. For some, the affliction features of a headache of monumental proportions. For others, there is no pain at all. Some attacks are triggered by weather, some intense light. Still others consist of intense light -- hallucinatory displays of dazzling loops, stars, and geometrics. "Migraine" is Sacks's brilliant examination of a debilitating ailment and the profound implications of neurological illness. Synthesizing his patients' case histories with 2,000 years of human research into the problem, he casts the migraine as exemplar of our psychological transparency, a complex biological response to external factors. Here is a classic meditation on the nature of health and malady, on the unity of mind and body. Here, too, is Sacks's discovery of how the migraine shows us, through hallucinatory displays, the elemental activity of the cerebral cortex -- and potentially, the self-organizing patterns of Nature itself. Enormously compelling, compassionate, and profound, Migraine offers comfort for sufferers -- and insight to all.
Read More

Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0804172153

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 1399

Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals–also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded. In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks’ extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his “Uncle Tungsten,” whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes–in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery.
Read More

Tales of Music and the Brain

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage Canada

ISBN: 0307373495

Category: Psychology

Page: 448

View: 6595

What goes on in human beings when they make or listen to music? What is it about music, what gives it such peculiar power over us, power delectable and beneficent for the most part, but also capable of uncontrollable and sometimes destructive force? Music has no concepts, it lacks images; it has no power of representation, it has no relation to the world. And yet it is evident in all of us–we tap our feet, we keep time, hum, sing, conduct music, mirror the melodic contours and feelings of what we hear in our movements and expressions. In this book, Oliver Sacks explores the power music wields over us–a power that sometimes we control and at other times don’t. He explores, in his inimitable fashion, how it can provide access to otherwise unreachable emotional states, how it can revivify neurological avenues that have been frozen, evoke memories of earlier, lost events or states or bring those with neurological disorders back to a time when the world was much richer. This is a book that explores, like no other, the myriad dimensions of our experience of and with music. From the Hardcover edition.
Read More

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0684853949

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 243

View: 1758

Presents a series of stories about men and women who, representing both medical and literary oddities, raise fundamental questions about the nature of reality
Read More

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307430052

Category: Psychology

Page: 208

View: 4514

Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the great modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions. “It is Dr. Sacks’s gift that he has found a way to enlarge our experience and understanding of what the human is.” —The Wall Street Journal Dubbed “the poet laureate of medicine” by The New York Times, Oliver Sacks is a practicing neurologist and a mesmerizing storyteller. His empathetic accounts of his patients’s lives—and wrily observed narratives of his own—convey both the extreme borderlands of human experience and the miracles of ordinary seeing, speaking, hearing, thinking, and feeling. Vintage Sacks includes the introduction and case study “Rose R.” from Awakenings (the book that inspired the Oscar-nominated movie), as well as “A Deaf World” from Seeing Voices; “The Visions of Hildegard” from Migraine; excerpts from “Island Hopping” and “Pingelap” from The Island of the Colorblind; “A Surgeon’s Life” from An Anthropologist on Mars; and two chapters from Sacks’s acclaimed memoir Uncle Tungsten. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Read More

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage Canada

ISBN: 0307402169

Category: Travel

Page: 160

View: 2407

"I have been an inveterate keeper of journals since I was 14 especially at times of adventure and crisis and travel. Here, for the first time, such a journal made its way to publication, not that much changed from the raw, handwritten journal that I kept during my fascinated 9 days in Oaxaca." Dr. Oliver Sacks Oliver Sacks is best known as an explorer of the human mind, a neurologist with a gift for the complex, insightful portrayals of people and their conditions that fuel the phenomenal success of his books. But he is also a card-carrying member of the American Fern Society, and since childhood has been fascinated by these primitive plants and their ability to survive and adapt. Now the bestselling author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat brings his ceaseless curiosity and eye for the wondrous to the province of Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca Journal is Sacks's spellbinding account of his trip with a group of fellow fern enthusiasts to the beautiful, history-steeped province of Oaxaca. Bringing together Sacks's passion for natural history and the richness of human culture with his penetrating curiosity and trammeling eye for detail, Oaxaca Journal is a captivating evocation of a places, its plants, its people and its myriad wonders.
Read More

Author: Emily Raabe

Publisher: Yearling Books

ISBN: 030793148X

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 288

View: 6997

After their mother falls mysteriously ill, eleven-year-old twins Gus and Leo and their mute younger sister, Ila, learn that they share their mother's ability to transform into animals, and to defeat the evil King of the Black Lakes, they must harness this newfound power.
Read More

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0385352573

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 5002

From the best-selling author of Gratitude, On the Move, and Musicophilia, a collection of essays that displays Oliver Sacks's passionate engagement with the most compelling and seminal ideas of human endeavor: evolution, creativity, memory, time, consciousness, and experience. Oliver Sacks, a scientist and a storyteller, is beloved by readers for the extraordinary neurological case histories (Awakenings, An Anthropologist on Mars) in which he introduced and explored many now familiar disorders--autism, Tourette's syndrome, face blindness, savant syndrome. He was also a memoirist who wrote with honesty and humor about the remarkable and strange encounters and experiences that shaped him (Uncle Tungsten, On the Move, Gratitude). Sacks, an Oxford-educated polymath, had a deep familiarity not only with literature and medicine but with botany, animal anatomy, chemistry, the history of science, philosophy, and psychology. The River of Consciousness is one of two books Sacks was working on up to his death, and it reveals his ability to make unexpected connections, his sheer joy in knowledge, and his unceasing, timeless project to understand what makes us human.
Read More

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 045149296X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 64

View: 2374

“My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” —Oliver Sacks No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. “It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.” Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life. “Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the ‘abnormal.’ He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw.” —Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
Read More

A Life

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0385352557

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 1288

When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction, and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life. With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions—weight lifting and swimming—also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists—Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick—who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer—and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
Read More

McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century

Author: Scott Miller

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks

ISBN: 0812979281

Category: History

Page: 422

View: 8281

An account of the 25th President's assassination places events against a backdrop of a rapidly changing, newly industrial nation that McKinley regarded as increasingly great while his assassin, Czolgosz, became obsessed with his views on poverty, injustice and social revolution.
Read More

The Diaries of John Rabe

Author: John Rabe

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307428680

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 4753

The Good Man of Nanking is a crucial document for understanding one of World War II's most horrific incidents of genocide, one which the Japanese have steadfastly refused to acknowledge. It is also the moving and awe-inspiring record of one man's conscience, courage, and generosity in the face of appalling human brutality. Until the recent emergence of John Rabe's diaries, few people knew abouth the unassuming hero who has been called the Oskar Schindler of China. In Novemgber 1937, as Japanese troops overran the Chinese capital of Nanking and began a campaign of torture, rape, and murder against its citizens, one man-a German who had lived in China for thirty years and who was a loyal follower of Adolph Hitler-put himself at risk and in order to save the lives of 200,000 poor Chinese, 600 of whom he sheltered in his own home. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Read More

Author: Caroline Blackwood

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0345802632

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 295

View: 6997

A portrait of the Duchess of Windsor focuses on her final days and profiles Maitre Blum, one of France's most powerful lawyers, who controlled every aspect of the Duchess' life.
Read More

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Author: Ryan Moore

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1351353268

Category: Social Science

Page: 100

View: 5673

Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is an unflinching dissection of the racial biases built into the American prison system. Named after the laws that enforced racial segregation in the southern United States until the mid-1960s, The New Jim Crow argues that while America is now legally a colorblind society – treating all races equally under the law – many factors combine to build profound racial weighting into the legal system. The US now has the world’s highest rate of incarceration, and a disproportionate percentage of the prison population is comprised of African-American men. Alexander’s argument is that different legal factors have combined to mean both that African-Americans are more likely to be targeted by police, and to receive long jail sentences for their crimes. While many of Alexander’s arguments and statistics are to be found in other books and authors’ work, The New Jim Crow is a masterful example of the reasoning skills that communicate arguments persuasively. Alexander’s skills are those fundamental to critical thinking reasoning: organizing evidence, examining other sides of the question, and synthesizing points to create an overall argument that is as watertight as it is persuasive.
Read More