The Exceptional Brain by Robert M. Kaplan
Overview: Da Vinci to van Gogh, Hitler to Howard Hughes—how brain diseases and conditions like epilepsy, syphilis, schizophrenia, and tumors have made their sufferers both famous and infamous, and have altered the course of history.
Writing in a chatty, anecdotal style, this work by a forensic psychiatrist and researcher delves into the brain conditions that affected famous figures and celebrates the work of groundbreaking doctors who discovered amazing things about the brain explaining, in plain English, exactly what they discovered. The significant historical figures covered include Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Adolf Hitler, Jack the Ripper, Arthur Inman (the world’s longest diarist), Vaslav Nijinsky, Woody Guthrie, and Jack Ruby. Dr. Kaplan illuminates both the bizarre and common conditions that affected these and many more exceptional humans. The conditions and diseases discussed include temporal lobe epilepsy, hypergraphia, mirror writing, brain tumor, Parkinson’s syndrome, syphilis, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder.