And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?: A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks [EPUB]
16 August 2019, 02:09
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0374236410 | 23.22MB
The untold story of Dr. Oliver Sacks, his own most singular patient
The author Lawrence Weschler began spending time with Oliver Sacks in the early 1980s, when he set out to profile the neurologist for his own new employer, The New Yorker. Almost a decade earlier, Dr. Sacks had published his masterpiece Awakenings—the account of his long-dormant patients' miraculous but troubling return to life in a Bronx hospital ward. But the book had hardly been an immediate success, and the rumpled clinician was still largely unknown. Over the ensuing four years, the two men worked closely together until, for wracking personal reasons, Sacks asked Weschler to abandon the profile, a request to which Weschler acceded. The two remained close friends, however, across the next thirty years and then, just as Sacks was dying, he urged Weschler to take up the project once again. This book is the result of that entreaty.
Weschler sets Sacks's brilliant table talk and extravagant personality in vivid relief, casting himself as a beanpole Sancho to Sacks's capacious Quixote. We see Sacks rowing and ranting and caring deeply; composing the essays that would form The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; recalling his turbulent drug-fueled younger days; helping his patients and exhausting his friends; and waging intellectual war against a medical and scientific establishment that failed to address his greatest concern: the spontaneous specificity of the individual human soul. And all the while he is pouring out a stream of glorious, ribald, hilarious, and often profound conversation that establishes him as one of the great talkers of the age. Here is the definitive portrait of Sacks as our preeminent romantic scientist, a self-described "clinical ontologist" whose entire practice revolved around the single fundamental question he effectively asked each of his patients: How are you? Which is to say, How do you be?
A question which Weschler, with this book, turns back on the good doctor himself.
Begin the Begin: R.E.M.'s Early Years [EPUB]
10 August 2019, 05:09
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1891241680 | 7.92MB
Robert Dean Lurie's biography is the first completely researched and written since R.E.M. disbanded in 2011. It offers by far the most detailed account of their formative years—the early lives of the band members, their first encounters with one another, their legendary debut show, touring out of the back of a van, initial recordings, their shrewdly paced rise to fame.
The people and places of 'the South' are crucial to the R.E.M. story in ways much more complex and interesting than have been presented thus far, says Lurie, who explores the myriad ways in which the band's adopted hometown of Athens, Georgia, and the South in general, have shaped its members and the character and style of their art. The South is more than the background to this story; it plays a major role: the creative ferment that erupted in Athens and gripped many of its young inhabitants in the late 70s and early 80s drew on regional traditions of outsider art and general cultural out-thereness, and gave rise to a free-spirited music scene that produced the B-52's and Pylon, and laid the ground for R.E.M.'s subsequent breakout success.
Lurie has tracked down and interviewed numerous figures in the band's history who were under-represented in or even absent from earlier biographies, and they contribute previously undocumented stories as well as casting a fresh light on the familiar narrative.
Simón Bolívar: A Life [EPUB]
10 August 2019, 05:08
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0300110626 | 4.2MB
The "impeccably researched, uncommonly honest, and . . . very well written" biography of the nineteenth century Venezuelan military and political leader (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, New Republic).
Simón Bolívar was a revolutionary who freed six South American countries from Spanish Imperial rule, an intellectual who argued the principles of national liberation, and a statesman who led the governments of Venezuela, Gran Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. His life, passions, and battles were woven into Spanish American culture almost as soon as they happened. In the first major English-language biography of "The Liberator" in half a century, John Lynch draws on extensive research to understand Bolívar's life in the context of his own society and times, and to explore his remarkable and enduring legacy.
Simón Bolívar illuminates the man's inner world, the dynamics of his leadership, his power to command, and his modes of ruling the diverse peoples of Spanish America. The key to his greatness, Lynch concludes, was his ability to inspire people to follow him beyond their immediate interests, in some cases through years of unremitting struggle. Encompassing Bolívar's entire life and his many accomplishments, this is the definitive account of a towering figure in the history of the Western hemisphere.