At the age of seven young Henry Molaison stepped into the street and collided with a bicyclist. Following the accident he began suffering from increasingly frequent and severe epileptic seizures, leading ultimately to an experimental brain surgery performed by neurosurgeon William Beecher Scoville. Unfortunately, the surgery was only partially successful with respect to his seizures and, tragically, the procedure left him unable to form any new memories for the remainder of his life. The author, journalist Luke Dittrich, just happens to be Scoville's grandson, and this is the story of the surprising number of ways his family intersects with that of the most famous patient in the history of neuroscience, as well as a primer on the history of the science itself.
This was an enlightening read, though it was far from a page-turner. The overall number of intersectionalities among the family, the patient, the neighborhood, and even President Lincoln, was pretty astonishing. Recommended for readers with an interest in science and medicine.