Author: Benjamin Ehrlich
Benjamin Ehrlich’s The Brain in Search of Itself is a lovingly crafted biography of the Spanish scientist (and artist, and hypnotist) Santiago Ramon y Cajal who showed us what our brains are made of.
A Spanish national treasure, Cajal is one of the most important scientists of all time, considered the father of modern neuroscience after proving that the brain was not made up of a fully continuous labyrinth of fibers — as was thought during the 19th century — but rather by individual cells that we now call neurons, those “mysterious butterflies of the soul,” in his words, “whose beating of wings may one day reveal to us the secrets of the mind.”
After a decade’s dedication
to this man, Ehrlich has profound sympathy and great insight into the workings of
his mind. This comes across clearly in the deeply researched, well-written and lovingly crafted biography.
But the strength of the book lies less in the writing than in the life of its protagonist, filled with picaresque adventures, said a review in The New York Times.