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The 21st Century Brain: Explaining, Mending and Manipulating the Mind Paperback – 2 Mar 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (2 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099429772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099429777
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"While this book is a magisterial survey of what we currently understand about the human brain and mind, it is also a profoundly personal rumination on the sources and consequences of that knowledge" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Especially valuable" (Nigel Hawkes The Times)

"A timely book on a timely subject" (Observer)

"If you are interested in brains or having a mind you must read this" (New Scientist)

"Clear and eloquent" (Daily Mail)

Book Description

'An elegantly written and cogent guide to contemporary ideas about how and why the brain works' - Independent

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The 21st Century Brain takes the reader on a tour of the brain and many of the major issues related to the study of what it is to be human. The chapters are ordered logically and include discussion of what is known and what is contentious. I really liked the writing style of this book but perhaps this is helped by having more than a passing familiarity with the subject matter. Steven Rose to my mind encapsulates what a good lecturer should be; knows their subject at lots of different levels and is acutely aware of the gaps and questions yet to be answered. The book overs the detail of a traditional text book but manages to engage the reader through frequent changes in perspective and level of detail.

I found his sometimes sarcastic approach to the confidence of other researchers/theorists really refreshing. Too many books in neurosciences today are caught up on the idea of 'brilliant', 'heroic' researchers who are at the cutting edge of knowledge and whose research will ultimately revolutionise how we see the world. Rose is far more modest in his endeavours.

If I had any complaints about this book it would probably be his undisguised contempt for Steven Pinker (which is never really explored) and Rose's frequent references to Hilary Rose (his wife). I think if you are going to quote someone you know well you should do the courtesy of exploring their ideas rather than repeat their descriptive phrases. Other than that, I'd highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book has many interesting reflections on the unwarranted assumptions that underlie research endeavours in the field of neuroscience. Steven Rose makes important points, but sad to say, in many places he uses an abstruse vocabulary that removes it from the category of 'easy reading'. Previously, I had read "Not in Our Genes," which Steven Rose co-authored with Richard Lewontin and Leon Kamin. I don't know which of them wrote which parts, but the readability of the chapters varied enormously. The prose in the chapter on schizophrenia was so clumsy and convoluted it was painful to read. So before tackling "The 21st Century Brain" I browsed a couple of reviews online. Both warned that it was not easy reading. Consequently, I borrowed a copy from the library rather than make a purchase. To be fair, the book does actually contain many passages that aren't heavy going. I liked the bon-mots from his sociologist wife, Hilary Rose - 'internal phrenology' and 'consumer eugenics'. However, I do agree with the blogger who suggested that Steven Rose should do as V.S. Ramachandran did with "Phantoms in the Brain" and team up with a skilled popular science journalist. If a bestseller was the result, that would more than compensate for sharing the royalties.
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Format: Paperback
Steven Rose is a Biology professor and this book is written from that neuroscience perspective, with especially interesting insights on the biological structure of the brain.

It also looks at the history of the science of the subject, evolutionary perspective on understanding brains/minds, the embryonic perspective as well - which in some senses mimics evolution duriong teh nine months.

He doesn't really answer the brain/mind question satisfactorily for me. Still attempting to say there is something more than just a switched on brain but not explaining what it is.

Final part of teh book is a very interesting look into possible futures where people take mind enhancing drugs or genetically select offspring and the implcations for some of these choice society will have to face up to.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who knows very little about the subject I enjoyed this book. The author is very good at explaining complex ideas and it is well written. Occasionally it could be a bit too discursive and I got the impression that he had a few scores to settle with professional rivals so the book might be a bit biased.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent product
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