The Master and His Emissary and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World Paperback – Nov 2 2010


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, Nov 2 2010
CDN$ 61.48 CDN$ 27.59

2014 Books Gift Guide
Thug Kitchen, adapted from the wildly popular web site beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow ("This might be my favorite thing ever"), is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Reprint edition (Nov. 2 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300168926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300168921
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 599 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #216,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'A landmark new book... It tells a story you need to hear, of where we live now.' Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times 'A giant in his vital field shows convincingly that the degeneracy of the West springs from our failure to manage the binary division of our brains.' Book of the Year choice, David Cox, Evening Standard 'A scintillating intelligence is at work.' Economist 'This is a very remarkable book... I couldn't put it down.' Mary Midgley, The Guardian 'A beautifully written, erudite, fascinating, and adventurous book. It goes from the microstructure of the brain to great epochs of Western civilisation, confidently and readably.' A. C. Grayling, Literary Review"

About the Author

Iain McGilchrist is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where he taught literature before training in medicine. He was Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospital, London, and has researched in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He now works privately in London and otherwise lives on the Isle of Skye.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Anchusa on Dec 28 2011
Format: Paperback
Finally getting to the end of it. Hard going for me but immensely rewarding. The range of topics discussed, examined under the same set of ideas about the communication within the brain and relation to the world of direct perception is truly impressive and seems very thorough and well understood and articulated. Sometimes I felt the author was stretching the basic thread of argument to breaking point but it never quite broke. And there were a couple of philosophical points that could have been considered but were not.
As a student of Buddhism and meditation the whole range of discussions about modes of perception and categorization of perception and the back and forth between re-presentation(categorization) and basic perception was very clarifying of many Buddhist ideas and very provocative considered in the view of meditation and what that discipline does or hopes to achieve. So, I hope some of the current day Buddhist authors writing about science and Buddhism come across this book and take the time to read it thoroughly.
The book is slightly overwhelming in the range and depth of erudition displayed. I have marked many places for rereading, contemplation and further reading.
A truly admirable book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Jan. 17 2013
Format: Paperback
Note: The terms "master" and "emissary" as well as their correlations with the nature and extent of the "divided brain" are best explained in context, within Iain McGilchrist's lively and eloquent narrative.

As I began to read this book and Iain McGilchrist's discussion of the "divided" brain, I was reminded of Susan Cain's book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Whereas she notes the significant differences between extroverted and introverted individuals, McGilchrist suggests that there are two hemispheres in each person's brain that seem to "coexist together on a daily basis, but have fundamentally different sets of values, and therefore priorities [as do extroverts and introverts], which means that over the long term they are likely to come into conflict. Although each is crucially important, and delivers valuable aspects of the human condition, and though each needs the other for different purposes, they seem destined to pull apart."

This is generally referred to as a "left brain/right brain" dichotomy or conflict. Both are "hugely valuable," according to McGilchrist, "but they stand in opposition to one another, and need to be kept apart from one another -- hence the bihemispheric structure of the brain."

If I understand Cain correctly (and I may not), she suggests that there are significant differences between two personality types: those who are either primarily introverted or primarily extroverted. Whichever is subordinate nonetheless co-exists in natural balance unless provoked into conflict by remarkably durable misconceptions of what is “normal.” For example, that introverts are by nature shy, retiring, insecure, and reserved (if not anti-social) and therefore cannot be effective leaders.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sean Kelly on Jan. 13 2013
Format: Paperback
I found Iain's book extremely interesting. He has sure done his homework. He is throughly researched in each topic area. I found myself wondering how he could have possibly read all of his citations; the footnoting alone is a huge asset to anyone interested in further research. Finally, my vocabulary has increased and my knowledge has grown enormously. THIS IS CUTTING EDGE STUFF!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Old Anglican TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Oct. 29 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book of impressive scope and challenge. I cannot recommend it to highly. It is profound and highly informative in its examination of our bi-cameral brains and the way each hemisphere affects our perception of and response to reality.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
0 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard Eichenauer on July 23 2011
Format: Paperback
Have not read the thick book yet, but it was highly recommended to me by a good friend. Ask me in 1/2 year!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.


Feedback