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An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks

An Anthropologist on Mars (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Oliver Sacks

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2,732352,154 (4.1)1 / 79
Title:An Anthropologist on Mars
Authors:Oliver Sacks
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (1995), Edition: 1st Edition, 7th Printing, Paperback
Collections:ADULT NONFICTION, Your library
Tags:case studies, autism, aspergers, brain injury, color blind, blindness, tourettes syndrome, biography

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An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks (1995)


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English (30)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Individuals with neurological disorders developing a second life, or turning a deficit into a energized alternative ability. Heard on "West Coast Live," May 23, 2015. The catagory of "genetic race" was also mentioned. "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." From Amazon. ( )
  clifforddham | May 23, 2015 |
I've known for many years I wanted to read something by Sacks - now I know I want to read everything by him. His focus is on the case histories, well, actually, on the people. Only by getting to know individuals well and comparing their stories to the literature does he bring together theories and share those ideas with us. He doesn't bang us over the head with an agenda. Nice selected bibliography.

A tidbit: "[W]aking consciousness is dreaming - but dreaming constrained by external reality." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Absolutely fascinating! Oliver Sacks powerfully demonstrates humanity's ability to adapt, and even thrive, in face of neurological disorder by presenting thoughtful and remarkably sensitive portraits of real people with various conditions. Trying to put myself in the shoes of these individuals was an exercise in imagination and empathy unlike any I've ever experienced. (And I am pleased to report that Sack's terminology in this book isn’t as horribly outdated as it was in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.) Though some portions are a bit didactic, I still enjoyed An Anthropologist on Mars immensely, and Jonathan Davis is an excellent narrator. Highly recommended. ( )
  les121 | Jul 20, 2014 |
I loved this book. Mostly because I think interdisciplinary studies/perspectives lead to breakthroughs in research. An amazing neurobiologist and an amazing writer, Sacks takes us into his work life and shows us just how wondrous and perplexing the sciences can be. He reminds us that even though we use objectivity in science, we shouldn't forget the human component. ( )
  SweetbriarPoet | Jul 14, 2014 |
Oliver Sacks provides a fascinating look at several cases of neurological damage or disorder in extremely interesting people. I found the discussion of how difficult a transition it is for a person who has been blind from birth or for a significant length of time to suddenly be able to see to be quite eye-opening, so to speak. I always assumed that if one gains sight after being blind that one is able to actually "see" right from the get go, but this is not so. Sight, depth perception, visual recognition, motion vision, all these things are developed over time in a sighted person, and if sight is suddenly restored ( )
  michellebarton | Jan 16, 2013 |
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The universe is not only queerer than we imagine, but queerer than we can imagine.
J. B. S. Haldane
Ask not what disease the person has, but rather what person the disease has.
(attributed to) William Osler
To the seven whose stories are related here
First words
I am writing this with my left hand, although I am strongly right-handed.
Early in March 1986 I received the following letter:
I am a rather successful artist just past 65 years of age.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Sacks' gelijktijdige beheersing van de diverse niveaus van analyse is benijdenswaardig. Zijn boek, dat zowel elegant als nauwgezet is, herstelt ons geloof in de medische wetenschap als een van de menswaardigste bezigheden.
'Neurologische patiënten,' schreef Oliver Sacks eens, 'zijn reizigers naar onvoorstelbare gebieden.' Een antropoloog op Mars . bevat /.even portretten van zulke reizigers
- waaronder een portret van een chirurg die lijdt aan het syndroom van Tourette, behalve op de momenten dat hij opereert, een kunstenaar die na een autoongeluk zijn vermogen verliest om kleuren te zien maar die daardoor een nieuw gevoel voor het werken in zwart-wït ontwikkelt, en een autistische professor die zich 'een antropoloog op Mars voelt' omdat ze de simpelste omgang tussen mensen onderling niet kan volgen, maar die een carrière heeft opgebouwd vanwege haar intuïtieve begrip van het gedrag van dieren. Deze zeven verhalen zijn paradoxaal, omdat een neurologische ziekte een bestaan tot gevolg kan hebben dat door anderen als 'abnormaal' wordt afgedaan, terwijl in dat 'abnormale' bestaan juist door die afwijkende gesteldheid bijzondere ervaringen kunnen optreden. Oliver Sacks heeft zijn reizigers buiten de kliniek, in hun eigen bestaan gevolgd, hij 'ging op huisbezoek aan de grens van de ervaringswereld'. Terwijl hij rnet zijn patiënten meereist, biedt Saeks ons een nieuw perspectief op de wijze waarop onze hersenen onze eigen, individuele wereld scheppen. In zijn heldere en boeiende reconstructies van de mentale processen die wij als vanzelfsprekend beschouwen - zien, herinnering, kleurgevoel - doet Sacks ons opnieuw verbaasd staan over wie we eigenlijk zijn.
Oliver Sacks (Londen, 1933} verwierf in 1984 internationale faarn met Een been om op te staan. Na De man die zijn vrouw voor een hoed hield verschenen bij Meulenhoff Stemmen zien. Een reis naar de wereld van de doven, Ontwaken in verbijsteringen zijn beroemde studie Migraine.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679756973, Paperback)

The works of neurologist Oliver Sacks have a special place in the swarm of mind-brain studies. He has done as much as anyone to make nonspecialists aware of how much diversity gets lumped under the heading of "the human mind."

The stories in An Anthropologist on Mars are medical case reports not unlike the classic tales of Berton Roueché in The Medical Detectives. Sacks's stories are of "differently brained" people, and they have the intrinsic human interest that spurred his book Awakenings to be re-created as a Robin Williams movie.

The title story in Anthropologist is that of autistic Temple Grandin, whose own book Thinking in Pictures gives her version of how she feels--as unlike other humans as a cow or a Martian. The other minds Sacks describes are equally remarkable: a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome, a painter who loses color vision, a blind man given the ambiguous gift of sight, artists with memories that overwhelm "real life," the autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire, and a man with memory damage for whom it is always 1968.

Oliver Sacks is the Carl Sagan or Stephen Jay Gould of his field; his books are true classics of medical writing, of the breadth of human mentality, and of the inner lives of the disabled. --Mary Ellen Curtin

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:36 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The author profiles seven neurological patients, including a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome and an artist whose color sense is destroyed in an accident but finds new creative power in black and white.

(summary from another edition)

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