An Anthropologist on Mars

An Anthropologist On Mars

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An Anthropologist on Mars

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An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales is a 1995 book by neurologist Oliver Sacks consisting of seven medical case histories of individuals with neurological conditions such as autism and Tourette syndrome. An Anthropologist on Mars follows up on many of the themes Sacks explored in his earlier book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, but here the essays are significantly longer and Sacks has more of an opportunity to discuss each subject with more depth and to explore historical case studies of patients with similar symptoms. In addition, Sacks studies his patients outside the hospital, often traveling considerable distances to interact with his subjects in their own environments. Sacks concludes that "defects, disorders, diseases... can play a paradoxical role, by bringing out latent powers, developments, evolutions, forms of life that might never be seen, or even be imaginable, in their absence" (Page xvi).


  • "The Case of the Colorblind Painter" discusses an accomplished artist who is suddenly struck by cerebral achromatopsia or the inability to perceive color due to brain damage.
  • "The Last Hippie" describes the case of a man suffering from the effects of a massive brain tumor, including anterograde amnesia, which prevents him from remembering anything that has happened since the late 1960s.
  • "A Surgeon's Life" describes Sacks' interactions with Dr. Carl Bennett, a surgeon and amateur pilot with Tourette...... ...
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