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Patient H.M.

  • Paperback $20.00

    May 02, 2017 | 480 Pages

  • Hardcover $28.00

    Aug 09, 2016 | 464 Pages

  • Ebook $13.99

    Aug 09, 2016 | 480 Pages

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Praise

“An exciting, artful blend of family and medical history.”The New York Times

“In prose both elegant and intimate, and often thrilling, Patient H.M. is an important book about the wages not of sin but of science. It is deeply reported and surprisingly emotional, at times poignant, at others shocking. . . . A scintillating book, infused with humanity.”The Washington Post
 
“Spellbinding . . . The fact that Dittrich looks critically at the actual process of scientific investigation is just one of the things to admire about Patient H.M.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Astonishingly insightful . . . A fascinating story in its own right to anyone interested in the history of modern science’s attempts to understand the causes of mental illness along with the many botched attempts to treat it . . . [Patient H.M.] is indeed about memory, madness, and family secrets and, in that sense, about the paths that shape the core of the self, in each and every one of us.”Psychology Today

“Beautifully told . . . a book that will rank with Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in the realm of outstanding medical ethics narratives.”Associated Press
 
“Dittrich’s account raises entirely new questions about the way in which the research on H.M. was conducted—and about the conclusions that have long been incorporated into our understanding of memory.”New York Magazine
 
“Remarkable.”Wired

“Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King in a piercing study of one of psychiatric medicine’s darker hours. . . . A mesmerizing, maddening story and a model of journalistic investigation.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“At the heart of this breathtaking work . . . is [Luke] Dittrich’s story of his complicated grandfather, his mentally ill grandmother, and a long-held family secret, with Molaison stranded ‘where the past and the future were nothing but indistinct blurs.’”Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
  
“The machinations of scientists and researchers—their personality and ambition, power and hubris—are of equally vital (and cautionary) importance in Dittrich’s unusual and compelling mix of science and family history.”Booklist, starred review

Patient H.M. tells one of the most fascinating and disturbing stories in the annals of medicine, weaving in ethics, philosophy, a personal saga, the history of neurosurgery, the mysteries of human memory, and an exploration of human ego. A monumental contribution to our understanding of medical research, and of ourselves, Patient H.M. is sweeping, meticulous, and seamless—with an ending that, like the best of scientific investigations, challenges everything that came before it.”—Sheri Fink, M.D., Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Five Days at Memorial

“In Patient H.M., Luke Dittrich explores the limits of science and the mind. In the process, he rescues an iconic life from oblivion. Dittrich is well aware that while we are the sum of what we may remember, we’re also at the mercy of what we can forget. This is classic reporting and myth-making at the same time.”—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
 
“Luke Dittrich has achieved something remarkable in Patient H.M. This book succeeds on every level: as a fresh look at the most famous patient in medical history, as an exposé of our dark history of psychiatry and neurosurgery, and, most powerfully, as a deeply personal investigation into the author’s past. And yet it’s still a page-turner that reads like a thriller. It deserves a spot next to the great medical histories The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Ghost Map, and The Emperor of All Maladies.”—Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire
 
“It felt as if I read this book in one breath. Patient H.M. is a fascinating, powerful investigation, a matryoshka doll of nested stories about the past and present, remembering and forgetting. Luke Dittrich’s quest to understand the amnesic patient who taught the world so much about memory leads him to the shoals of his own family tragedy and an ending that will break your heart. But it’s his beautiful unfolding of the story, the art of his sentences and reportage, that you’ll never forget.”—Michael Paterniti, author of The Telling Room


From the Hardcover edition.

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