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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,435 ratings  ·  575 reviews

This is the story of one man's fight against a multibillion dollar colossus. A man who stood up for what was right, whatever the cost.

The brilliant young forensic pathologist had no idea that the body on the slab in front of him would change his life, and ultimately change the world.

The body belonged to legendary American Footballer Mike Webster, whose mental health had r

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Penguin (first published October 6th 2015)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,435 ratings  ·  575 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley


Dr. Bennet Omala, ( an interesting-inspiring man we get to know much about), was born in Nigeria. His 'own' history - family life - and
immigrating to America is a story worth reading in itself.

The bigger purpose in learning about Dr. Bennet ... ( this extraordinary man), is to read about his extraordinary medical discovery....(understanding & sadness about Mike Webster), and Dr. Bennet's fight t
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

For those of you who know me, you are already aware I’m a mom of boys. (You’re also well aware of the fact that I don’t really write reviews of books, but more just ramble on about whatever I feel like and post a bunch of gifs, so this “review” should be par for the course.) My one experience with football looked a little something like this . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Yes. They are doing exactly what it looks like they are doing.

When our youn
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Concussion is a powerful and thought provoking story! I highly recommend it!

Dr. Bennet Omalu was born in Nigeria in 1968. Bennet begrudgingly attends medical school as his father dictates and then decides to move to America. Once he discovers forensic pathology, Bennet sets out to get a job in Pittsburgh working with famed forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht.

The course of Dr. Omalu's life changed when he performed an autopsy on Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive lineman Mike Webster. After learning of
Diane S ☔
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an avid football fan it is hard to ignore the ongoing conversations of the serious effects of concussions, it has been all over the news shows and in the newspapers. This book however, I only hear about seeing the promos form the movie, shown on the television. Quite frankly I was afraid to read this book. The reason I was so afraid is that I have four sons who played football, three played in college and my youngest started in second grade and played for twelve years. I remember players gett ...more
Julie Ehlers
I’m very glad I had the chance to read Concussion, but my experience of it was equal parts edifying and frustrating, so I feel the need to write two separate reviews—one for the content, and one for the presentation.

Review #1

As you can probably guess, Concussion is an informative look at the now-indisputable (regardless of what the NFL says) fact that the repeated head injuries sustained in pro football do permanent damage to the brain in ways that later show up, heartbreakingly early, as dement
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the deft handling of the material. She makes the players and doctor sympathetic and likable.
♥ Sandi ❣
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ♥ Sandi ❣ by: upcoming movie
Shelves: 1-have
Concussions have been studied since before 1927 when articles began to appear in medical journals. "Punch drunk' became a term for the injuries sustained by boxers. Back then only a minute group of people were studied. Football players were not even considered for study.

As Bennet Omalu, Nigerian, completed his education he studied the brain. He chose forensic pathology as his specialty and ended up working under the renown Cyril Wecht, his idol and his mentor, doing autopsies, as he became an e
A searing look at the massive NFL coverup of the brain damage that often results from repeated concussions, that rendered so many healthy men deranged, or senile long before their time, destroying their families' lives in addition to their own.

The book is also a biography of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant Nigerian forensic scientist who spotted the disease in these men and persisted, despite the efforts of the NFL to discredit and silence him. He stood against this giant corporate entity armed
Margaret Sankey
At the Pittsburgh morgue in 2002, a Nigerian-born pathologist, Bennet Omalu, discovered Tau Tangles in the brain of Mike Webster, a Pittsburgh Steelers player who "inexplicably went crazy." This discovery tied repeated concussions, like those of the experience of punch drunk boxers, to football. Omalu, who didn't care about US professional sports, was surprised that the NFL turned its might on him and his professional allies, attacking him legally and academically in the pages of journals edited ...more
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 5 Stars +

Best Non-Fiction Book of 2015

Award-winning literary journalist, Jeanne Marie Laskas returns following Hidden America, with her unique talent and style, uncovering real people, their obstacles, triumphs, and raw human emotions--written with wit, sensitivity, and compassion. A well-researched, gripping story, relevant to today’s top controversial headlines.

CONCUSSION, is brilliantly writ
Have you read this book? You need to read this book! On second thought, don't bother, nothing is going to change. I watched the movie, Head Games, about this exact subject, there was a pediatrician that specialized in sport injuries, she see's patients inflicted with concussions and she is fully informed on the end result of having documented and undocumented concussions, and she says her children will continue to play ice hockey, her children enjoy it and she and her husband enjoy watching them ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seems hypocritical to have Super Bowl 50 playing in the background as I finish the last couple chapters of this story. It brings to light the seriousness of brain injuries caused by football and the NFL's attempt to cover it up or downgrade it. I've enjoyed watching football over the years but I don't know if I will be able to enjoy it as I have in the past after reading this. Very sad and shocking. It bears a strong similarity to the Romans watching the gladiators fight each other.

Even though t
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a football lover. A football watching fool. Specifically I am an Oregon Ducks football fanatic. After reading this excellent but heart-wrenching story about the damage done by the violence of this sport I so love, I am going to have to rethink my devotion. This book is a stellar, stop you in your tracks telling about the fraud perpetuated (and paid for) by the NFL and the courageous and heroic Dr. Bennet Omalu. The movie based upon this book is coming out at Christmas- can't wait to see it. ...more
Throughly enjoyed reading this novel. Depicting the scenes and events with astounding imagery and literary mechanics.

It was a thoroughly interesting read, where I enjoyed reading both about Dr. Bennet's life and the science behind his work.

The oddest thing about this book, is that these events transpired within the last fifteen years, even almost ten years. And it's so weird to read a biography about such a recent character in the pathological field.

Meaghan Ethier
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Omalu, despite battling his own mental illness, somehow tried to stand up for the players in the NFL and their increased risk for brain damage, and was consistently shut down by not only the NFL, but other doctors and professionals. So thankful that this book can show his hard work, dedication and care to a country and people that aren't even his own.
For weeks after receiving the digital advanced reader's copy of Concussion from NetGalley, I questioned why I had requested it. Primarily a Sunday Night Football fan because I enjoy spending time with my husband, I do have favorite players and teams. But my understanding of the game is sorely lacking. Perhaps it was the medical research side of the story. Maybe the legal side of it. I put off reading it again and again in favor of something else.

A couple of days ago I decided to go ahead and rea
Sarah at Sarah's Bookshelves
Visit my blog,, for the full review:


Concussion is a so much more than a “football book”; it’s a medical mystery, a David & Goliath story, an immigrant’s story, and a story of a big-business cover-up…and, it’s my favorite nonfiction of 2015!

What I Liked

- This book was such an unexpected surprise for me! A third of the way through, football had been mentioned only once.
- The book opens with an intriguing “mentee vs. mentor” situation involving Bennet and his eccen
Jessica Dugita
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely one of my favorite books I've ever read. I watched the movie in my athletic training class last year and thought it was very interesting too. It's cool to read about real people and real experiences dealing with brain damage and mortality. In this case, CTE has caused a tremendous uproar in the football community so hearing the opinions from real doctors and medical examiners gave real insight on it compared to anger players, coaches, and fans' uneducated opinions. I would rec ...more
Clif Brittain
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It really should be titled Omalu, but that wouldn't sell many books.

It could be called Racism, because that is mostly what it is about. Were Omalu's skin any color but black, he would have the same status as Jonas Salk or Christiaan Barnard as a medical researcher.

It could be called An Incomplete History of Racism in the United States because it scratches the surface of the most complicated situation facing the United States. Particularly interesting to me would be the contrast of racism vs. Afr
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars for me. I really appreciated all of the parts of the book dealing with the actual concussion and CTE research and the struggles with the NFL. However, there seemed an excessive amount of information about Dr. Omalu himself that seemed completely unrelated to his research that I found unexpected (and unnecessary). It took about 80 pages just to get to what I expected to be reading about from the start. Without those added pages, this would definitely have gone up a star.
Sam Harvey
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Darn good read. Couldn't put it down. Don't play American Football folks.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding!!! Loved it! A really well written book!
Recommend to all my non-fiction lovers friends!
Sometimes you read a book and it completely changes your mind about something. Concussion is one such book. I've never been into the NFL, but having gone to a university with a very big sports presence, I did get absorbed into the college football scene. Game days were great social events, a time when alumni and students would gather by the thousands to celebrate a game that seems so quintessentially American, to cheer on the "gladiators" tasked with bringing our alma mater glory. After reading ...more
This is a fascinating story, I'm so glad that it's been put to paper and even happier that there's a movie coming out. My husband and I have very different opinions about football and I have absolutely forbidden my son to play the game. Needless to say my son hasn't always seen the wisdom in my decision, thankfully my husband supports me on this.

My husband is a huge Steelers fan. In fact I once had a friend of ours tell me he ran into my husband in town and made the mistake of asking him about
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story. Phenomenal and shocking. The story of the pathologist/medical examiner from Nigeria who discovers the connection between football and CTE. how repeated concussions cause mental issues and mood changes in former football players. He fights the NFL all the way but is determined to discover the truth. Also interesting that Dr. Bennet Omalu has depression. He said: "this was an irrational disease that cannot be rationalized." Must have great psychiatrist, therapist and meds. He told h ...more
Tara - Running 'n' Reading
What you need to know:

Definitely one of the best books I've read this year; Laskas does a fantastic job of detailing this story with the precision of a seasoned journalist while also providing readers with the emotion and suspense of a bestselling novel. I love Will Smith, but don't wait for the film!

My thoughts:

I've already mentioned that this is not a book about football; I have to admit, however, that I love football and the involvement of the NFL is certainly something that interested me abo
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine what would have happened if several decades ago if one black immigrant from Nigeria went to the tobacco industry and told them there might be a link between cigarette smoking and cancer. Yep. That's what happened between this guy and the NFL. It's a classic David and Goliath story - an important story that needed to be told. This book will change laws. It will save lives.

I'm SO very very glad my son does not play football.
patrick Lorelli
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports-history
This was a difficult book for me to get through because it opens with the death of Mike Webster, who was an All-Pro and Hall Of Fame football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Him player center meant that on every play he would receive contact. From there you are taken to the testimony of the doctor who Bennet Omaul who new to this country would rock the world in 2009. This was the character that the movie was based on. The author first takes you back to 2002 and the day of the autopsy of Mike ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Concussion is a good book, but it wasn't the book I wanted it to be.

It doesn't touch what I think is the defining cultural question its story presents: what has to happen to reform or eliminate football as we know it? I realized near the end of the book that what I wanted most was both more prescriptive and predictive than Laskas meant it to be. I wanted to hear more from the NCAA, whose feet, rather than being held to, should probably just be engulfed by the fire re: their treatment of so-call
Jill Miskin
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I know-I have a son who plays football, so why would I torture myself reading this book. Well, it was good and informative book about Dr. Omalu and what he has faced since looking at Mike Websters brain and coming up with CTE. Most of the story focused on Bennett Omalu and the trouble he had being taken seriously and being shoved aside by others who want the accolades/glory/publicity of going after the NFL. His research and information about what happens to football players can only make things ...more
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Jeanne Marie Laskas is an American writer and professor.

From 1994 until 2008 she was a regular, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post Magazine, where her "Significant Others" essays appeared weekly. She has written feature stories for GQ, where she is a correspondent. Formerly a Contributing Editor at Esquire, her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Best American Sports

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