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The Master and His Emissary : The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World - Iain McGilchrist

The Master and His Emissary

The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

By: Iain McGilchrist

Paperback | 14 February 2019 | Edition Number 2

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A pioneering exploration of the differences between the brain's right and left hemispheres and their effects on society, history, and culture

Persuasively argues that our society is suffering from the consequences of an over-dominant left hemisphere losing touch with its natural regulative 'master' the right. Brilliant and disturbing.Salley Vickers, a Guardian Best Book of the Year

This pioneering account sets out to understand the structure of the human brain - the place where mind meets matter. Until recently, the left hemisphere of our brain has been seen as the"rational" side, the superior partner to the right. But is this distinction true?

Drawing on a vast body of experimental research, Iain McGilchrist argues while our left brain makes for a wonderful servant, it is a very poor master. As he shows, it is the right side which is the more reliable and insightful. Without it, our world would be mechanistic - stripped of depth, colour and value. 
Industry Reviews
"One of the few contemporary works deserving classic status."-Nicholas Shakespeare, Times (UK)

"Persuasively argues that our society is suffering from the consequences of an over-dominant left hemisphere losing touch with its natural regulative 'master' the right. Brilliant and disturbing."-Salley Vickers, a Guardian "Best Book of the Year"

"A landmark. . . . It tells a story you need to hear, of where we live now."-Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

"McGilchrist describes broad [intellectual] movements and famous figures as if they were battles and soldiers in a 2,500-year war between the brain's hemispheres. . . . A scintillating intelligence is at work."-The Economist

"A veritable tour de force, gradually and skilfully revealed. I know of no better exposition of the current state of functional brain neuroscience."-W. F. Bynum, Times Literary Supplement

"Clear, penetrating, lively, thorough and fascinating. . . . I couldn't put it down."-Mary Midgley, The Guardian

"A seminal book."-Ervin Laszlo, Huffington Post

"A fascinating book. . . . [McGilchrist] is a subtle and clever thinker, and unusually qualified to range with such authority over so many different domains of knowledge."-Harry Eyres, Financial Times

"A beautifully written, erudite, fascinating and adventurous book."-A. C. Grayling, Literary Review

"Fascinating and elegantly written."-Grethe Hooper Hansen, Association for Humanistic Psychology in Britain Magazine

"A densely researched and entirely thrilling examination of the difference between the two kinds of thinking typical of the right and left hemispheres of the brain."-Philip Pullman, New Statesman

Winner of the Scientific and Medical Network Book Prize 2009

Shortlisted for the Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize 2010

Longlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize 2010

"A profound examination."-Philip Pullman

"Iain McGilchrist's ideas about human capabilities are among the most provocative I've encountered-and I mean provocative in a positive sense."-Howard Gardner

"A dazzling masterpiece . . . comprehensive and profound."-Norman Doidge

"A marvellous and highly original synthesis of ideas on how the division of labour between the two brain hemispheres can provide key insights into human nature."-V. S. Ramachandran

"Unbelievably rich. . . . Of absolutely crucial cultural and intellectual importance."-Louis Sass

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