, Research Paper
A critique of the book:
Inside The Brain
The first thing that must be said for the book Inside The Brain, is that it made for very easy reading. Even though the book concerns itself with some topics that, easily, can be confusing due to their technical or medical nature, the text flows easily. The book was written to be read, not to be a reference or textbook. The content of this well written book was also first rate. The sources quoted in the book were quite impressive, and the research that went into the project was apparently quite exhaustive as well.
There is information contained in this book that should be had by all. If all prospective parents were to be given a copy of this book, and if they were to actually read it, the future of our country, and our world for that matter, would be a much brighter one. Some of the points made, including the need for children to be stimulated mentally beginning at an early age, are crucial. Armed with this information, any parent would be likely to spend more time with their children in an effort to ensure their ultimate success in life. It is a parent’s responsibility and obligation to provide their children with the strongest mental armament available in order to enter the intellectual battlefield that will be their future. Those who are not properly intellectually prepared for life will fall to the bottom of the socioeconomic strata. They will live a life of strife including substandard education, substandard health, substandard wealth, and substandard children. This will perpetuate a cycle of this type of person from generation to generation. The author of the book seems to focus on the immediacy of the problem through the use of some very startling statistics. His implication is that if something is not done to make parents better at the way they prepare their children for the future, we, as a society, will need to be building many more prisons in order to handle the overwhelming amount of societal misfits that we will be producing.
The book does go on to provide some hope for tomorrow as well as fear. The latter chapters focus more on the body’s abilities to repair and heal the brain and mind. Much attention is given to potential treatments and therapies for those suffering from debilitating injuries and diseases. Along with explaining how the brain and associated tissue can heal themselves, many new avenues of treatment are discussed. Again these issues can be, due to their very technical and scientific nature, very obfuscated with technical jargon. Kotulak does an excellent job of avoiding these pitfalls and delivers the intended information with as little extraneous technical jargon and academic prose as possible. He does not omit necessary information, but rather he explains briefly and succinctly what is being referenced. This again makes the book educational while at the same time makes it an enjoyable book to read.
The only shortcomings that gave a sense of doubt to the content of the book can not be attributed to the author but to some of his sources. Many of his sources, while being quoted, appeared to be back-pedaling from their discoveries. After any references to a specific racial group or ethnicity, in terms of correlational data, were made, the quoted individual seemed to add a statement intended to foster a feeling of political correctness. This seems wrong from a scientific perspective. When a scientist completes a study, the data can speak for itself. As long as the methods used for the study are clearly outlined, the scientist should feel no obligation to explain the results of his study in terms of political correctness. It is possible that these statements were made in order to prevent any feeling of animosity from being directed toward the scientific community by any one ethnic or racial group.
Other than this one bit of detracting information, the book itself was great. Tax dollars would be well spent by providing a copy of this book to every citizen of the country. Barring that, it should be made standard issue to all parents taking their newborns home from the hospital. A few hours spent reading this book, could help parents raise a child who could exceed all expectations. The information contained in this book implies that a child’s future outlook is not predicated by his parents’ genetic makeup. A child could surpass the successes of his parents if his parents give him the right start in life. After all, is it not the dream of all parents to make their child’s life better than their own, in as many ways as possible.
The book also offers hope to the many victims of brain injuries and their families. Stopping short of announcing a cure for these medical disasters, the author offers hope in the form of many new breakthroughs in the areas of pharmacotherapies and brain imaging. The ultimate feeling that the author of this book leaves his readers with is a sense of hopefulness, and if one accepts some of the premises of this book, everyone who reads it is, to some extent, better off just for having read it and having exercised their mind.