Patrice Sartor's Reviews > Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman
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Aug 23, 2010

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bookshelves: health-illness-exercise, psychological

GENRE: Non-fiction, biography, brain anatomy, science.

SUMMARY: Phineas Gage suffered a horrendous accident in 1848 when a tamping iron exploded through his skull. Amazingly, Phineas walked away from the accident, and lived for another eleven years. He was a changed man, however. His personality became harsher and less socially adept. He became prone to swearing and shortness of temper. After the incident Phineas was able to interact well with children and horses, and he worked with horses for many years.

EVALUATION: I remember seeing a video about Phineas Gage when I was in junior high, and how it fascinated me. Years later in college, as a psychology major, I studied Gage again, with more of a focus on his changed personality and brain function. This book is in-depth, and provides much information about Gage that I did not previously know.

WHY I WOULD INCLUDE IT: Phineas Gage's story is still a medical marvel, and still just as fascinating as it ever was. Tweens who enjoy gruesome true stories will be both entertained and educated, as the book offers a fair bit of discussion about the anatomy of the brain, including the different schools of thoughts about brain anatomy that were in effect during Gage's day.

READER'S ANNOTATION: An in-depth look at the accident that forever changed Phineas Gage, and gave the medical world new insight into how the brain works.

ITEMS WITH SIMILAR APPEAL:
• An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy.
• The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
• Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong.
• The Great Brain Book: An Inside Look at the Inside of Your Head by HP Newquist.
• Grossology by Sylvia Branzei and Jack Keely.

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05/08/2016 marked as: read

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