Soul Made Flesh
The Discovery of the Brain--And How It Changed the World
By Carl Zimmer
(Free Press, Hardcover, 9780743230384, 384pp.)
Publication Date: December 2003
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Called "as fine a science essayist as we have" by "The New York Times, " Zimmer tells the story of this scientific revolution through the lives of a colorful array of alchemists, mystics, utopians, spies, revolutionaries, and kings. He recreates the religious, ethical, and scientific struggles involved in the pioneering autopsies of the brain carried out by Thomas Willis; the discovery of the circulation of blood by William Harvey and his flight from London with his besieged king, Charles I; Rene Descartes's persecution by Catholics and Protestants alike for his views of the brain and soul; and the experiments and personal dramas of gifted men who forever changed the way science is practiced as they simultaneously upended our view of our human selves and our place in the world.
In this distant mirror to our own time of continuing scientific revolution and worldwide social upheaval, Zimmer brings to life the painstaking, innovative discoveries of Willis and his contemporaries -- the taproots of the amazing work of today's neuroscientists, who continue to explore the brain, revealing the hidden workings of emotions, memories, and consciousness. Graced with beautiful illustrations by Christopher Wren, Soul Made Flesh conveys a contagious appreciation for the wonder of the brain, its structure, its many marvelous functions, and the implications for human identity, mind, and morality. It is the definitive history of the dawn of a world-changing science and attitude -- the age of the brain and modern consciousness.