- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 2nd edition (15 Jun. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300188374
- ISBN-13: 978-0300188370
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.8 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 91 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World Paperback – 15 Jun 2012
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'A landmark new book... It tells a story you need to hear, of where we live now.' - Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times. 'A very remarkable book... McGilchrist, who is both an experienced psychiatrist and a shrewd philosopher, looks at the relation between our two brain-hemispheres in a new light, not just as an interesting neurological problem but as a crucial shaping factor in our culture... splendidly thought-provoking... I couldn't put it down.' - Mary Midgley, The Guardian. 'A giant in his vital field shows convincingly that the degeneracy of the West springs from our failure to manage the binary division of our brains.' - Book of the Year choice, David Cox, Evening Standard. 'A beautifully written, erudite, fascinating, and adventurous book. It goes from the microstructure of the brain to great epochs of Western civilisation, confidently and readably. One turns its five hundred pages... as if it were an adventure story.' - A. C. Grayling, Literary Review. 'To call Iain McGilchrist's 'The Master and His Emissary'... an account of brain hemispheres is to woefully misrepresent its range. McGilchrist persuasively argues that our society is suffering from the consequences of an over-dominant left hemisphere losing touch with its natural regulative 'master', the right.' - Salley Vicker, The Guardian. 'McGilchrist, for whom certainty is the greatest of illusions, has produced an absolutely convincing narrative of who we are.' - Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph. Named one of the best books of 2010 by The Guardian. --Sunday Times, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Literary Review, Daily Telegraph
About the Author
Iain McGilchrist is a former Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London, and has researched in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore. He taught English at Oxford University, where he has been three times elected a Fellow of All Souls College. He works privately in London and otherwise lives on the Isle of Skye.
Top customer reviews
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The answerers slot into place, once someone smart enough comes along to solve the puzzle. I am not exaggerating when I say that the way Darwin solved the mystery of the Giraffe, Iain McGilchrist has solved the mystery of our wretched state. I am not saying that McGilchrist is some sort of Albert Einstein, no, because the answer has been starring us in the face, like natural selection did, we just needed a very clever chap to come along, who happened to work with patients but who was also a dab hand at philosophy, and, most importantly, had the latest brain research at hand. Indeed, McGilchrist does not spin his ideas from first principle, but from solid brain imaging and years of first hand study on real sick people.
(not only is Iain McGilchrist a top hands-on researcher, who worked for years with real patients, rather than abstractions from the citadels of the ivory tower. McGilchrist has also read very widely and and he understands what he has read and so he is a true philosopher and this is why academic philosophers have been giving this book average reviews.)
McGilchrist is on to something here and intelligence roars out of the pages of The Master and his Emissary. It is the architectonics of the brain that is the problem and not the world etc and there is enough proof for even the diehard genetic determinists to accept. Can I suggest a similar book call Left in the Dark? It basically covered similar territory to this one.
These are exciting times!
I heard about the book in a lecture given by a previous reader, so I am really looking forward to what lies ahead - an extended reflection on the way our western society is driven by the considerations and viewpoints of the calculating, reductive left brain (the emissary of the title, who usurps the master. the integrated brain). I hope there'll be a chance for me to revisit this review when I've read the whole book.
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For such an eminent and well regarded scientist I find that some of his observations to be tenuous and others not what can...Read more