A Leg to Stand On

Odyssey Editions
5
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The author of twelve books, including the bestselling Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, Musicophilia, and Hallucinations, Oliver Sacks is internationally renowned for his compassionate approach to patients affected by profound neurological disorders. Yet when an accident on an uninhabited mountain in Norway leaves Dr. Sacks with a severe leg injury, he becomes the patient. During what should have been a routine recovery period, he experiences an overwhelming sensation that his injured leg is now absent from his body, and indeed from his physical awareness. In A Leg To Stand On, one of Dr. Sacks’ most personal works, this disturbing experience is the starting point of a fascinating journey through the mysteries of perception, the physical substance of our identities, and the experience of being a patient.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Odyssey Editions
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Published on
Mar 8, 2013
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781623730093
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Edward Platt
The City of Abraham is a journey through one of the world’s most divided cities – Hebron, the only place in the West Bank where Palestinians and Israelis live side by side. It begins with a hill called Tel Rumeida, the site of ancient Hebron, where the patriarch Abraham – father of the Jews and the Arabs – was supposed to have lived when he arrived in the Promised Land. Through a mixture of travel writing, reportage and interviews, Platt tells the history of the hill and the city in which it stands, and explores the mythic roots of the struggle to control the land.

He meets the Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida, and the messianic settlers who have made their homes in a block of flats that stands on stilts on an excavated corner of the site. He meets the archaeologists who have attempted to reconstruct the history of the hill. He meets the soldiers who serve in Hebron, and the intermediaries who try to keep the peace in the divided city. The City of Abraham explores the ways in which Hebron’s past continues to inform its tumultuous present, and illuminates the lives of the people at the heart of the most intractable conflict in the world.

The City of Abraham is a journey through one of the world’s most divided cities – Hebron, the only place in the West Bank where Palestinians and Israelis live side by side.

It begins with a hill called Tel Rumeida, the site of ancient Hebron, where the patriarch Abraham – father of the Jews and the Arabs – was supposed to have lived when he arrived in the Promised Land. Platt tells the history of the hill and the city in which it stands, shares the stories of residents and settlers, and illuminates the mythic roots of the struggle to control the land.

Through a mixture of travel writing, reportage and interviews, The City of Abraham explores the ways in which Hebron’s past continues to inform its tumultuous present.

Oliver Sacks
Have you ever seen something that wasn’t really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing?

Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world. Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres. Those who are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one’s own body.

Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics. These, along with his early migraine experiences, launched a lifelong investigation into the varieties of hallucinatory experience.

Here, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr. Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture’s folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition. 
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