An inspiring book, by one of the great pioneers in the subject of how neurons learn. Apart from giving us an easy to comprehend, authoritative and extremely interesting account of experiments relating to this subject, Kandel tells us a great deal about his fascinating and moving life story, and how this was responsible for the orientation of his experiments. In this way, the book gives us insights into the human face of science and, in doing so, provides a context to the scientific findings described, which makes them easier understand and evaluate. In particular, it helps to know that, when the author was making detailed investigations of a single neuron of a sea slug, what he was really interested in was what he had motivated him from the beginning, namely, trying to explain the ruthless human behaviour that he and his family saw at first-hand in pre-war Nazi Austria. From the beginning, much influenced by his family's contacts with pioneer Viennese Psychiatrists, he had been interested in global aspects of the Science of Mind, and it is to these grand issues that he returned in his later years, and with which the last chapters of his book are concerned. In these, he tells us how far he and his fellow researchers have got in pushing forward their understanding of this vast subject. Inevitably, the outcomes are more suggestive than definitive, but the progress of science depends on provoking thought. In all, a splendid read.