3 out of 4 stars
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Memories of a Brain Doctor by Dr. Abraham Lieberman is a non-fiction book about Parkinson’s, paralysis, and psychosis. Dr. Lieberman is a neurology expert who served many prominent individuals and contributed a lot to the study of Parkinson’s and how to treat it. The first chapter of the book opens with the history of the Lieberman family. It goes back to Abraham. Yes, the one in the Bible. This Jewish family emigrated from Prussia to America in the early 1900s and settled in Brooklyn, New York.
You might think this book is only about Dr. Lieberman’s career and his family. No, it is not. I would say it is also about his encounter with Parkinson’s disease. He talked about global political issues, his family, his Jewish race, and his life. However, he also conscientiously detailed all the moments he came into contact with the symptoms of the disease. A keen mind and a brilliant specialist who won the trust of all his patients, notably Muhammad Ali, with whom they later worked together to develop treatments.
His celebrated clientele is proof of Dr. Lieberman's brilliance in neurology. His patients included Jack Dempsey, Leona Helmsley, Joseph E. Levine, and many others. For an autobiography, the structure of the book is perfect. The author showed how world events emboldened the Lieberman family. The wars, diseases, and the great depression reinforced the family bond, its steadfastness, and tenacity to endure.
Memories of a Brain Doctor by Dr. Abraham Lieberman reads like a novel. I found the story so interesting that I couldn’t put the book down. The institutions behind Dr. Lieberman’s efforts to diagnose and treat Parkinson’s and the people involved in making the funds and facilities available show how much Dr. Lieberman made a career out of the passion to heal. I liked how the author talked about his family’s tragedies and how together as a unit got through them. The history and struggle of this family provide insight into how Dr. Lieberman's quest to become one of the best neurologists in America became a success.
I also liked how the author wove together his quest to treat Parkinson’s, his clan’s toil through life, the geopolitical situations of the world, and America’s political advancement so admirably. The book is easy to read despite the difficult subject of neurology. The author’s take on how President Roosevelt, who was a victim of Polio, rallied the US behind him through strenuous times, and his study on Hitler and the psychology of murderers, show how little we know about the brain. The only part that I did not like about the book is that it contains a plethora of mistakes. I think a thorough round of professional editing is in order as readers might get distracted because of so many errors.
I recommend this book to all readers interested in learning about Parkinson’s, as Dr. Lieberman is among the first experts to deal with the disease. For readers who are not into life stories such as this can skip this book. After careful consideration and regarding a myriad of errors throughout the book, I rate Memories of a Brain Doctor by Dr. Abraham Lieberman 3 out of 4 stars.
Memories of a Brain Doctor
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