Lawrence Whalley The Ageing Brain
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2001, 162 pp.
This book is part of the “Maps of the Mind” series, edited by Steven Rose. Other books I’ve read in this series, including James McGaugh’s Memory and Emotion: The Making of Lasting Memories and Rusiko Bourtchouladze’s Memories Are Made of This, have been excellent. So it was with high expectations that I started to read this book. Alas, it’s not especially well-written. I’ve read better books on aging (e.g., William Clark’s very good A Means To An End), and better books on Alzheimer’s disease (particularly William Shankle and Daniel Aman’s excellent Preventing Alzheimer’s).
Whalley focuses mainly on cerebrovascular disease (especially stroke) and Alzheimer’s disease. But his prose is that of a scientist—overly passive and couched in long sentences in which the point is often easy to lose. This book just isn’t as clear or as organized as other books in this otherwise excellent series have been.