Patient H.M: a story of memory, madness and family secrets

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“Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King”* in this propulsive, haunting journey into the life of the most studied human research subject of all time, the amnesic known as Patient H.M. For readers of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks comes a story that has much to teach us about our relentless pursuit of knowledge.Winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award • Los Angeles Times Book Prize WinnerNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BYThe Washington Post • New York Post • NPR • The Economist • New York • Wired • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage In 1953, a twenty-seven-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison—who suffered from severe epilepsy—received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next sixty years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today. Patient H.M. is, at times, a deeply personal journey. Dittrich’s grandfather was the brilliant, morally complex surgeon who operated on Molaison—and thousands of other patients. The author’s investigation into the dark roots of modern memory science ultimately forces him to confront unsettling secrets in his own family history, and to reveal the tragedy that fueled his grandfather’s relentless experimentation—experimentation that would revolutionize our understanding of ourselves. Dittrich uses the case of Patient H.M. as a starting point for a kaleidoscopic journey, one that moves from the first recorded brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the cutting-edge laboratories of MIT. He takes readers inside the old asylums and operating theaters where psychosurgeons, as they called themselves, conducted their human experiments, and behind the scenes of a bitter custody battle over the ownership of the most important brain in the world. Patient H.M. combines the best of biography, memoir, and science journalism to create a haunting, endlessly fascinating story, one that reveals the wondrous and devastating things that can happen when hubris, ambition, and human imperfection collide.Praise for Patient H.M.“An exciting, artful blend of family and medical history.”The New York Times“In prose both elegant and intimate, and often thrilling, Patient H.M. is an important book about the wages not of sin but of science.”The Washington Post “Spellbinding . . . The fact that Dittrich looks critically at the actual process of scientific investigation is just one of the things to admire about Patient H.M.”—The New York Times Book ReviewPatient H.M. tells one of the most fascinating and disturbing stories in the annals of medicine, weaving in ethics, philosophy, a personal saga, the history of neurosurgery, the mysteries of human memory, and an exploration of human ego.”—Sheri Fink, M.D., Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Five Days at Memorial “This is classic reporting and myth-making at the same time.”—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin*Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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9780812992731
9780679643807
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Grouped Work IDddaae456-bdcb-6777-204f-b51e8155dd60
Grouping Titlepatient h m a story of memory madness and family secrets
Grouping Authorluke dittrich
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-09-20 05:01:48AM
Last Indexed2020-09-20 05:16:48AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

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accelerated_reader_point_value0
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authorDittrich, Luke,
author_displayDittrich, Luke
available_at_addisonAddison Public Library
collection_addisonAdults
detailed_location_addison2nd Floor- Adult Books
Online OverDrive Collection
display_description"In the late 1930s, in asylums and hospitals across America, a group of renowned neurosurgeons worked to develop and refine a new class of brain operation--the lobotomy--that they hoped would eradicate everything from schizophrenia to homosexuality...The most important test subject to emerge from this largely untold chapter was a 27-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison...Journalist Luke Dittrich uses his case as a starting point for a kaleidoscopic journey, from the first recorded brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the cutting-edge laboratories of MIT...It is also, at times, a deeply personal journey: Dittrich's grandfather was the brilliant, morally complex surgeon who operated on Molaison--and thousands of other patients..."--From dust jacket.
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itype_addisonNonfiction
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literary_formNon Fiction
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local_callnumber_addison617.481 DIT
owning_library_addisonAddison Public Library
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primary_isbn9780812992731
publishDate2016
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ils:.b17970908BookBooksEnglishRandom House, [2016]xv, 440 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
overdrive:6af69ce2-b902-417a-8ca3-936c3628d932eBookeBookEnglishRandom House Publishing Group2016
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ils:.b17970908.i13663987On ShelfCheck Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 20, 21
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subject_facetAmnesiacs -- Biography
Epilepsy -- Surgery -- United States -- History
H. M., -- 1926-2008
Memory disorders -- Patients
Scoville, William Beecher, -- 1906-1984
title_displayPatient H.M. : a story of memory, madness and family secrets
title_fullPatient H.M. : a story of memory, madness and family secrets / Luke Dittrich
Patient H.M. A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets
title_shortPatient H.M
title_suba story of memory, madness and family secrets
topic_facetAmnesiacs
Epilepsy
H. M
History
Medical
Memory disorders
Nonfiction
Patients
Science
Scoville, William Beecher
Surgery