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Recollections of My Life Paperback – July 6, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0262680608 ISBN-10: 0262680602 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 638 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1st edition (July 6, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262680602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262680608
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish (translation)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Edmund Paley on February 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting but somewhat strange book. It provides a really amazing view of what it was like to do science in those days, in particular about the various political maneuvering that was required to navigate the old spanish academic system. It also provides interesting insight into the personality of one of the greatest pioneers of cell biology. Unfortunately, part of his personality involves telling us all how great he was, so sometimes I found the book a little tiresome to read. I was also kind of disappointed in that it took a long time before he got around to covering the time when he actually made his important contributions to science. Still, for anyone interested in cell or neurobiology, or in the history of science, I would recommend this book fairly strongly as something they will enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Natan Avram on June 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cajal appears to be a writer of the first order, aside from being a genius neurobiologist. His personality shines through the account: incredibly willful and industrious, endowed with a brilliant mind and imagination - yet at the same time vain and authoritarian. These two defects are forgivable in a man of such high ambition and accomplishment. It is however conspicuous that none of his associates became a noted scientist. The few he mentions appear briefly and the informed reader knows they left no lasting mark in neuroscience. Cajal had a long career - it is unlikely he did not encounter high talent but much more likely that he took all the credit for himself. While he did found what is now the eminent Cajal Institute in Madrid where excellent neuroscientists work to this day, and thus made neurobiology bloom in Spain, there is no proof he inspired, formed or helped his very own pupils. Rather there are clear indications he did nothing (or lorded over) for his pupils. A researcher who had no master left no disciples.

The text contains in several parts the summaries of his researches. These are amazing in clarity of exposition and creativity in terms of conception. They also are the reason for taking two stars off. Why? Because the translators of the book, E. Horne Craigie (assisted by Juan Cano) CUT at least five times the text, leaving horrible footnotes (p. 373, 396, 405, 480, 570) stating that the short paragraph summarizes several pages which are "left out as having no interest for the reader". Who are E. Horne Craigie and Juan Cano to decide what is of interest to the readers?! How dare they censor Santiago Ramon y Cajal? This censorship is a fraud and an act of intellectual infamy. Moreover the book is full of typos and grammar mistakes, spelling Goethe as Goette, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Perfesser on April 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An absolute classic. Must-read for any student in natural sciences or history of science. More than the father of Neuroscience, Cajal's autobiography shows the breadth of his scientific curiosity and relates the lessons this early Nobel laureate took from his many and varied experiences as a boxer, soldier, physician and inventor. His narrative explains not just what he did that established his reputation, but what motivated him to do it and how he overcame obstacles along the way.

This English translation is clear, criip and well worth the read. MIT Press is commended for bringing this volume back to life for an American audience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best memoir I know of an important scientist. Skilled as he was as a neurologist, that Ramon y Cajal also had ambitions as a writer is evident from the science-fiction stories he left us. This volume is a terrific and highly convergence of his talents, and the rich detail of his prose is very well served in this translation. A great read!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book contained many valuable insights into the life of one of the most influential neuroscientists ever. This book was an excellent read.
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