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The Forgetting: Understanding Alzheimer’s: A Biography of a Disease Hardcover – 18 Feb 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 18 Feb 2002
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (18 Feb. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002571749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002571746
  • Package Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,215,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


‘The Forgetting is completely absorbing, fascinating, the best of writing, thought provoking, socially important and imperative to read, with the narrative pull of a well-written murder mystery.’ Amy Tan

‘A poignant portrayal of a dark illness that robs our very soul. Yet Shenk provides a vivid glimpse of the future, how new science may ultimately remedy this devastating malady.’ Jerome Groopman, Harvard Medical School

‘A beautifully rendered portrait of a terrible illness, David Shenk’s book is immensely absorbing and informative, yet also quite touching.’ Todd Feinberg, Yarmon Alzheimer’s Disease Centre


A literary and scientific examination of Alzheimer's disease and the race to find a cure. In 1906, Alois Alzheimer dissected and examined the cerebral cortex of Auguste D's brain and became the first scientist in medical history to link a specific brain pathology to behavioural changes. The disease named after him, turns otherwise active and healthy people into "living ghosts". It is a rare condition for those in their 40s and 50s but 10 per cent of the 65-plus population suffers from it and 50 per cent of the 85-plus age group. It is longevity's revenge and as the baby boom generation drifts into its elderly years the number of Alzheimer's victims is expected to quadruple, making it the fastest-growing disease in developed countries. Shenk's book is an account of the scientists who are working to cure the disease and to understand the links between biology and consciousness. The book is punctuated with personal accounts of famous Alzheimer sufferers - Ronald Reagan, Willem de Kooning and Jonathan Swift - as well as the stories of many less famous victims.

Shenk's history of Alzheimer's is grounded by the fundamental belief that memory forms the basis of our selves, our souls, and the meaning in our lives.

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12 customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

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21 June 2018
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
13 December 2018
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
7 July 2014
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22 November 2017
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
21 February 2018
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
3 October 2015
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14 July 2003
Format: Paperback
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30 August 2006
Format: Paperback
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