Leonardo's Brain: Understanding Da Vinci's Creative Genius

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9781493009398: Leonardo's Brain: Understanding Da Vinci's Creative Genius
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Best-selling author Leonard Shlain explores the life, art, and mind of Leonardo da Vinci, seeking to explain his singularity by looking at his achievements in art, science, psychology, and military strategy and then employing state of the art left-right brain scientific research to explain his universal genius. Shlain shows that no other person in human history has excelled in so many different areas as da Vinci and he peels back the layers to explore the how and the why.

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About the Author:

Leonard Shlain was a best-selling author and San Francisco surgeon. Admired among artists, scientists, philosophers, anthropologists and educators, Shlain authored three best-selling books: Art & Physics, Alphabet vs. The Goddess and Sex, Time, and Power. He delivered multimedia presentations based upon his books in venues around the world including Harvard, The New York Museum of Modern Art, CERN, Los Alamos, The Florence Academy of Art and the European Council of Ministers. His fans include Al Gore, Norman Lear and singer Bjork who credited Shlain ‘s Alphabet vs. The Goddess with inspiring her in her single “Wanderlust” and the album Volta.

Dr. Shlain was a surgeon for 38 years at California Pacific Medical Center where he headed the Laparoscopic Surgery Department and an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. Shlain began his surgical residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York and then completed it at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco where he set up his general surgical practice in 1969. In 1973, he volunteered and served as a trauma surgeon in Israel during the Yom Kippur War. An early pioneer of gallbladder and hernia laparoscopic surgery in 1990, he was flown around the world to train doctors in the new techniques, patented several surgical instruments and specialized in gallbladder and hernia operations.

Al Gore said: "Leonard Shlain was a personal inspiration to me and so many others. His ability to synthesize not only information but also genuine wisdom across multiple and disparate disciplines was extraordinary. His talent for communicating to the rest of us what he had discovered was a rare gift"

Shlain died in May 2009 at the age of 71 after a battle with brain cancer.

Review:

He was the archetypal genius. A painter. A scientist. An inventor. An engineer. Even today, he remains the dictionary definition of a Renaissance man: Leonardo da Vinci. In Leonardo’s Brain, surgeon and best-selling author Leonard Shlain undertakes a hypothetical dissection of the ancient master’s intellect, attributing the roots of his creativity to a particular arrangement of his gray and white matter. . . .Shlain applies modern neuroscience to probe one of history’s most innovative brains and uses da Vinci as a lens through which to view the broader issues of brain organization, creativity, and consciousness. . . . The work stands as the last in a line of probing and entertaining books from a thinker who possessed his own brand of genius. (The Scientist)

Shlain succeeds in keeping Leonardo's Brain accessible and enjoyable. It is intellectual while remaining conversational and is certainly unlike the many, many other books written about da Vinci. (Civil Engineering)

Leonardo’s 500-year-old story continues to compel because, as Shlain writes, 'No other individual in the known history of the human species attained such distinction both in science and art as the hyper-curious, undereducated, illegitimate country boy from Vinci.' (RappNews.com)

The importance of Shlains’s end of life research offers us hopeful foundations that we can build upon in the areas when neurology and psychology meet. Now, not only are we able to study the effects of a stroke with a clearer idea of how to counteract the damage, we understand the differences in basic personality types. (San Francisco Book Review)

"Shlain's ability to synthesize not only information but also genuine wisdom across multiple and disparate disciplines was extraordinary." 
--Al Gore

“By exploring Leonardo da Vinci’s brain through the lens of contemporary neuroscience, Leonard Shlain not only celebrates da Vinci’s legendary creativity, he shows how we can integrate and strengthen both sides of our minds and tap into the amazing possibilities within ourselves.”
—Arianna Huffington

“This book is a gift from the heavens where Leonard Shlain is today and another bright example of his force and spirit shining through the prism of the mind of Leonardo da Vinci.” —Norman Lear
Praise for Art & Physics:
"a Tour de Force... a brilliant, accessible and visionary look the most revolutionary artists and scientists from the golden Age of Greece to the present." The Los Angeles Times

Praise for The Alphabet vs. The Goddess
"Bold and fascinating" - The Washington Post Book World 

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