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The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

and Other Clinical Tales

by Oliver Sacks


Listen to Oliver Sacks Discuss The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat with Studs Terkel - Oliver Sacks sits down with Studs Terkel to discuss aspects of "other clinical tales" from his book "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales". Sacks discusses the important role played by the visual arts, music, drawing and math in the lives of people suffering from autism, Parkinson's disease, and mental challenges. He also discusses the repercussions and loss of unique abilities to make patients more socially acceptable. Sacks discusses two separate patients that have eidetic memory (photographic) and although being stigmatized as mentally challenged are able to memorize volumes of dictionaries and calculate six figure prime numbers in their heads. Music and math transforms them!

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
9 Hrs. 36 Min.


In his most extraordinary book, "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century" (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks' splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine's ultimate responsibility: "the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject".

PLEASE NOTE: Some changes have been made to the original manuscript with the permission of Oliver Sacks.

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More Details

  • Published: June 2011
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T063149
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