Review: The Idea of the Brain (Matthew Cobb)

I picked this up because I’ve always had a fascination with the brain – how can this person understand rocket science, while this person is better at literature, and how do people view (and/or value) these rather divergent types of development through their own lenses?

If you’re after a very detailed, rather academic sort of book examining the ways people throughout history have viewed the brain, this is the book for you. It comes across as a bit dry, as many overviews of anything do, but it does not stray into the weeds to become completely unreadable. You do need to be ready and alert to read it in order to understand the transitions and shifts of thinking throughout history about the organ that allows us to think.

If you’re a citation kind of person, this is also for you: as with other academic type books of this nature, there are loads of materials one could go find and read, if one were interested in continuing to delve into neurology and the general history of how we view the rather precious blob that sits inside our skulls.

Four stars.

Thanks to NetGalley and Perseus/Basic Books for the reading copy.