Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Blog Tour/Review: Capture by David A. Kessler, M.D.

About Capture

• Hardcover: 416 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (April 12, 2016)

Why do we think, feel, and act in ways we wish we did not?

For decades, Dr. David A. Kessler has studied this question with regard to tobacco, food, and drugs. Over the course of these investigations, he identified one underlying mechanism common to a broad range of human suffering. This phenomenon—capture—is the process by which our attention is hijacked and our brains commandeered by forces outside our control.

In Capture, Dr. Kessler considers some of the most profound questions we face as human beings: What are the origins of mental afflictions, from everyday unhappiness to addiction and depression—and how are they connected? Where does healing and transcendence fit into this realm of emotional experience?

Analyzing an array of insights from psychology, medicine, neuroscience, literature, philosophy, and theology, Dr. Kessler deconstructs centuries of thinking, examining the central role of capture in mental illness and questioning traditional labels that have obscured our understanding of it. With a new basis for understanding the phenomenon of capture, he explores the concept through the emotionally resonant stories of both well-known and unknown people caught in its throes.

The closer we can come to fully comprehending the nature of capture, Dr. Kessler argues, the better equipped we are to eventually alleviate its deleterious effects and successfully change our thinking and behaviors. Ultimately, Capture offers insight into how we form thoughts and emotions, manage trauma, and heal. For the first time, we can begin to understand the underpinnings not only of mental illness but also of our everyday worries and anxieties. Capture is an intimate and critical exploration of the most enduring human mystery of all: the mind.

I'm always interested in learning about the mind so this book caught my attention right away. This is one of those concepts that I have a hard time explaining, so I'll use the author's words. Capture "is the result of something--an idea, situation, person--that comes to dominate our minds, thrusting aside all else and occupying the center of our consciousness." Over time, thoughts, feelings and actions can become so concentrated and overwhelming that it feels as though we are being driven by something out of our control. He gave lots of stories to help us better understand how it works. There were stories about drink, physical pain, love, gambling, death, grandeur, abandonment and so much more. Some of them were stories of famous people and it was interesting to learn more about them.

I feel like I got the gist of what he was saying but there were parts that I skimmed over. The ultimate answer he gives to overcome capture is simple but not necessarily easy. This is a book that would be worth reading again since I'm sure I'd get more out of it the second time around. I'm glad I read it and would recommend it to those that are interested in learning more about the mind!

My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review


“Kessler proposes an original theory of the mind. His cogent argument is that a great deal of the apparently inexplicable behavior of human beings is the result of impulses, drives, and obsessions that may share fundamental neural and psychodynamic mechanisms. This carefully researched book is both startling and engaging, and is written with brio.”—Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon

“In this richly documented, beautifully written, and original work, David Kessler has given us an idea that explains one of the most strange and most powerful processes in the human brain.”—E. O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

Capture is a breakthrough book. In a world of increasingly specialized knowledge, it takes a particular gift and some stubbornness to cut across the fields of neuroscience, psychiatry, philosophy, and psychology, and to ask the fundamental question: Why is it that we allow our best selves to be captured and torpedoed by thoughts and actions that sink us? Kessler’s exploration of the question makes for a compelling read. His ultimate answer is profound and one that could be life changing and life saving. I know I will be handing this book out for just that reason.”—Abraham Verghese, MD, author of Cutting for Stone

Purchase Links

About David A. Kessler, M.D.

David A. Kessler, MD served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He is the author of A Question of Intent and The End of Overeating, a New York Times bestseller. He is a pediatrician and has been the dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Kessler is a graduate of Amherst College, the University of Chicago Law School, and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Kessler’s Tour Stops

Thursday, April 14th: Laura’s Interests
Tuesday, April 19th: Dreaming Big
Thursday, April 28th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Friday, April 29th: Create With Joy
Monday, May 2nd: The Book Nest
Tuesday, May 3rd: Book Hooked Blog
Wednesday, May 4th: Mel’s Shelves
Friday, May 6th: Becklist
TBD: I’m Shelf-ish


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Getting everything out of a dense, informative book like this might take several reads for me - there is a lot of information presented, and it sounds fascinating.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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