Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story Info

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Ben Carson, M.D., works medical miracles. Today, he's one of
the most celebrated neurosurgeons in the world. In Gifted Hands, he
tells of his inspiring odyssey from his childhood in inner-city Detroit
to his position as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins
Hospital at age 33. Ben Carson is a role model for anyone who attempts
the seemingly impossible as he takes you into the operating room where
he has saved countless lives. Filled with fascinating case histories,
this is the dramatic and intimate story of Ben Carson's struggle to beat
the odds -- and of the faith and genius that make him one of the
greatest life-givers of the century.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story:

2

Jun 20, 2007

This is supposed be inspirational, but it seems to show how blessed and special Ben Carson is. I appreciate his message, but I come away not inspired but frustrated. What happens when folks pray and God says no or they don't get the same result Carson did?
And if it's supposed to be inspiriational why only one chapeter on his big thing, Think Big?
5

Oct 20, 2011

Stop what you're doing. Read this right now. I did a gigantic project on this book. My God I loved it. It was simply remarkable.

The whole story of his life is inspiring, and the book causes you to become very emotionaly attached to Ben Carson as a character. I, at least, felt his struggles, victories, and failures quite strongly. If it's being rated by emotional investment, it gets 5 stars. If its being rated for writing style, it gets 5 stars. The voice is powerful and has a sincere tone to it Stop what you're doing. Read this right now. I did a gigantic project on this book. My God I loved it. It was simply remarkable.

The whole story of his life is inspiring, and the book causes you to become very emotionaly attached to Ben Carson as a character. I, at least, felt his struggles, victories, and failures quite strongly. If it's being rated by emotional investment, it gets 5 stars. If its being rated for writing style, it gets 5 stars. The voice is powerful and has a sincere tone to it throughout.

Ben Carson, being a pediatric neurosurgeon, is perhaps the best in the world, having discovered several medical techniques that are used even today, and maybe his greatest contribution, he perfected the hemispherectomy [when you take out one of the two lobes of the brain and the patient is still a 100% functioning member of society]. He's saved numerous lives. He's quite inspirational because of his less than noble background.

It has real moral lessons, values, and inspiration to be taken from it, and I would recomend that anybody who has ANY time at all, should read it. It can be a truly life changing book. ...more
5

Mar 16, 2017

Excellence!!

As a public figure or medical biography, a motivational mentoring guide, a triumph over adversity story, as an inspirational biography . . . All of the above, Gifted Hands par excellence.

"The bottom line . . . We create our own destiny by the way we do things. We have to take advantage of opportunities and be responsible for our choices."

Raised in disadvantaged circumstances - poverty, single parent home, tenement housing, gang infested neighborhoods - Ben Carson could have become Excellence!!

As a public figure or medical biography, a motivational mentoring guide, a triumph over adversity story, as an inspirational biography . . . All of the above, Gifted Hands par excellence.

"The bottom line . . . We create our own destiny by the way we do things. We have to take advantage of opportunities and be responsible for our choices."

Raised in disadvantaged circumstances - poverty, single parent home, tenement housing, gang infested neighborhoods - Ben Carson could have become just another ghetto statistic: a drug running, angry black boy bent on raging against "the man" and either shot down in his prime or doing time. Blessedly though, Carson had a god fearing, strong-willed mother who instilled in him the power of faith, perseverance, hard-work, self regulation, and a"can do" attitude.

Sonya Carson firmly (and rightly) believed that we each are responsible for our choices, our actions, and our destiny; she often quoted from the poem: Yourself to Blame by Mayme White Miller:

"If things go bad for you-
And make you a bit ashamed,
Often you will find out that
You have yourself to blame ...

. . . .

You're the captain of your ship,
So agree with the same-
If you travel downwards,
You have yourself to blame."

From his days as a young boy making barely-passing grades to years of teenage angst, kowtowing to peer pressure, then upward and onward to his goal-driven years of high school, college, and medical school - Ben Carson's ​life story is a story we all need to hear.

"Be nice to people-all people . . . It takes much less energy to be nice then it does to be mean. Being kind, friendly, and helpful takes less energy and relieves much of the pressure."

Who doesn't need a reminder that there is greatness in each of us, if we but stop making excuses and use our God given talents and gifts for good and not evil? The youth of today's volatile world have special need for mentors such as Dr. Carson, if there is to be great hope for generations to come.

FIVE ***** Timeless Biography of Excellence; Valiant Mentorship for the Ages ***** STARS ...more
3

Mar 26, 2008

I'd give this book 3 1/2 stars, maybe even 4, but I'm not quite sure.

I love the story, particularly the beginning where he talks about his mother. (She's the reason I read the book -- I had heard a little teaser of the story at a presentation by Jim Trelease and wanted to hear more about her.) She is an incredible person and did what every mother should do -- give her kids a chance to be better and do more than she did.

Ben Carson and his brother were raised in inner-city Detroit, with their odds I'd give this book 3 1/2 stars, maybe even 4, but I'm not quite sure.

I love the story, particularly the beginning where he talks about his mother. (She's the reason I read the book -- I had heard a little teaser of the story at a presentation by Jim Trelease and wanted to hear more about her.) She is an incredible person and did what every mother should do -- give her kids a chance to be better and do more than she did.

Ben Carson and his brother were raised in inner-city Detroit, with their odds of becoming successful almost non-existent, yet Ben eventually became the head of the pediatric neurosurgery unit at Johns Hopkins, largely due to his mother's influence.

Ben writes the book himself, so everything is in the first person. Because of that, when he speaks of his accomplishments he almost sounds arrogant. There were a few times that bothered me a little, but he does give credit to God for everything, which shows he really is humble. I think the only reason he may sound a bit arrogant is because he's writing in the first person, speaking of all his successes. But really, when you've done incredible things and are telling your own story, that's how it's going to sound. (One of those incredible things was separating conjoined twins that no other team would even attempt to separate and attempt to keep both alive -- it was an incredible surgery, one he profiles in the book.)

Back to his mother: At age 13 she married a man who was 28, largely to escape her family life (there were over 20 kids in her family). After having 2 kids they divorced (her husband had a completely separate life they knew nothing about for some time). She couldn't read well while raising her boys (she learned later) but insisted they read 2 books a week and write her book reports on them. Something not covered in the book, but I learned during the presentation: she would mark up their reports with a red pen and insist they make them better, all the while having no idea what she was circling and marking up.

All in all, don't read the book for it's writing -- it's not beautifully written. Read the book if you want to hear a motivating story about hard work or about how mothers can influence their children. ...more
4

Dec 12, 2008

Recommended by Honey for a Teen's Heart, this promises to be an excellent story.

Wonderful, wonderful! This book is all about education and the importance of it. But, instead of being preachy, it's a great story. Even my 7 (almost 8) year old doesn't want to miss a bit of it. Some of the things we have tried to teach our kids are reiterated in this book. Yippee! Also, there is the wonderful aspect of faith in God and miracles throughout the pages of this book.

Book on tape is read by the author!

Recommended by Honey for a Teen's Heart, this promises to be an excellent story.

Wonderful, wonderful! This book is all about education and the importance of it. But, instead of being preachy, it's a great story. Even my 7 (almost 8) year old doesn't want to miss a bit of it. Some of the things we have tried to teach our kids are reiterated in this book. Yippee! Also, there is the wonderful aspect of faith in God and miracles throughout the pages of this book.

Book on tape is read by the author!

2015 NOTE: If I could pull the threads of this book out of my kids' minds, I would do it. I'm sure there are some great moments in the book, but looking at who this man is and what he represents now, sickens me. There are certainly better role models out there. ...more
5

Dec 27, 2011

This was a beautiful and inspirational book! Not only did a poor black man living in the ghetto of Detroit get an amazing education, he also became one of the most famous neurosurgeons in America.

What impressed me so much was his mother's determination; she was only 13 years old when she got married and, to make things worse, she became a single parent when her husband left her.Despite all this,she knew how important education and faith would be for her sons; she encouraged them to read books This was a beautiful and inspirational book! Not only did a poor black man living in the ghetto of Detroit get an amazing education, he also became one of the most famous neurosurgeons in America.

What impressed me so much was his mother's determination; she was only 13 years old when she got married and, to make things worse, she became a single parent when her husband left her.Despite all this,she knew how important education and faith would be for her sons; she encouraged them to read books and pray. Amazing how a lady who only had 3rd Grade education managed to raise two great scientists!

I enjoyed reading about the medical cases that he worked on that made him so well-known. Despite all his achievements, Dr Carson seems to be a very humble man and credits God for getting him where he is today. Also, in spite of all the racism he encountered, he made it clear that he wants to heal people of all races and all the adversity he faced on account of his race just made him grow stronger, and work harder.


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1

Dec 15, 2015

If his hands are so gifted, how did he write such an awful book? In "Gifted Hands", Dr. Ben's arrogance, holiness, and fairy tales ceaselessly damage what should be an inspiring story. Further, God makes multiple cameos in Ben's life to provide money ($10 bills found on the ground) test answers (don't waste your time studying kids, just pray), and of course, gifted hands (blessed hand-eye coordination, Ben would have been an unbeatable ping-pong player). Unfortunately, God forgets to give Dr. If his hands are so gifted, how did he write such an awful book? In "Gifted Hands", Dr. Ben's arrogance, holiness, and fairy tales ceaselessly damage what should be an inspiring story. Further, God makes multiple cameos in Ben's life to provide money ($10 bills found on the ground) test answers (don't waste your time studying kids, just pray), and of course, gifted hands (blessed hand-eye coordination, Ben would have been an unbeatable ping-pong player). Unfortunately, God forgets to give Dr. Carson humility, gratitude, and the ability to realistically recall information. Regardless of how the good doctor fares in his future political aspirations, he'll always be a winner in his eyes. ...more
5

Aug 26, 2018

I’m so happy that I read this. Carson’s story is wonderful and uplifting. He experienced so many struggles and yet became a better person and his faith in God has been strengthened. I love how grounded he remains despite all of his incredible contributions to the field of neurosurgery. He attributes most of his success to God, his mother, and his medical team. His perseverance and humility are truly admirable. To me, this book should be required reading for all high school students, as well as I’m so happy that I read this. Carson’s story is wonderful and uplifting. He experienced so many struggles and yet became a better person and his faith in God has been strengthened. I love how grounded he remains despite all of his incredible contributions to the field of neurosurgery. He attributes most of his success to God, his mother, and his medical team. His perseverance and humility are truly admirable. To me, this book should be required reading for all high school students, as well as all those who like to focus so much on blaming one’s circumstances and personal situation.

Some of my favorite quotes:
“I have strong feelings on the subject of American youth and here’s one of them. I’m really bothered at the emphasis given by the media on sports in the schools. Far too many youngsters spend all their energies and time on the basketball courts, wanting to be a Michael Jordan. Or they throw their energies toward being a Reggie Jackson on the baseball diamond or an O.J. Simpson on the football field. They want to make a million dollars a year, not realizing how few who try make those kinds of salaries. These kids end up throwing their lives away.
When the media doesn’t emphasize sports, it’s music. I often hear of groups – and many of them good – who pour out their hearts in a highly competitive career, not realizing that only one group in 10,000 is going to make it big. Rather than putting all their time and energy into sports or music, these kids – these bright, talented young people – should be spending their time with books and self-improvement, ensuring they’ll have a career when they’re adults.
I fault the media for perpetuating these grandiose dreams.”

“I came to realize that if people could make me angry they could control me. Why should I give someone else such power over my life?”

“Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.”



Ben Carson with his wife, mother, and children


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4

Apr 10, 2013

Loved the book. It's crazy that I've known of Dr. Carson for years. I went to see him speak at TSU in Nashville some years ago while I was in dental school at Meharry Medical College. I purchased the book then... That was early 2000's. I just decided to read it in its entirety. I was pleasantly surprised that a lot if his story paralleled mine. Not so much the educational part of tough up bringing, but his thought processes. I underlined and highlighted so much because I was surprised to find - Loved the book. It's crazy that I've known of Dr. Carson for years. I went to see him speak at TSU in Nashville some years ago while I was in dental school at Meharry Medical College. I purchased the book then... That was early 2000's. I just decided to read it in its entirety. I was pleasantly surprised that a lot if his story paralleled mine. Not so much the educational part of tough up bringing, but his thought processes. I underlined and highlighted so much because I was surprised to find - in print - what I had put into practice. In my older age- I've accepted my passion for children and issues with education. I've been doing more motivational speaking and actually included similar motivational words as Dr. Carson used without reading this book. Now that I have read it, I have more material I can use! Loved this book! Will beading it to the reading list for this summer reading challenge I hope to offer to the kids at my church this summer. ...more
5

Mar 28, 2018

I really like to read about highly successful people. Ben Carson is one of them. This takes you from his living in Detroit and being raised b a single mom who insisted he achieve success... through his education and eventually to his historic surgery of separating Siamese Twins joined at the head.

He’s a devotedly religious man who credits God with giving him his talent and skills as a brain surgeon. He’s an example for the youth of the world to emulate.

He’s gotten a lot of crap in the news the I really like to read about highly successful people. Ben Carson is one of them. This takes you from his living in Detroit and being raised b a single mom who insisted he achieve success... through his education and eventually to his historic surgery of separating Siamese Twins joined at the head.

He’s a devotedly religious man who credits God with giving him his talent and skills as a brain surgeon. He’s an example for the youth of the world to emulate.

He’s gotten a lot of crap in the news the last few years- but none of it should take away from the fact that he’s an accomplished neurosurgeon and a hero to his patients and the world. I find it extremely hideous that some ridicule and demean him because they do not agree with his conservative political views. ...more
4

May 31, 2014

From inner city (Detroit) Ben Carson, a poor black kid , raised by a very determined single mother , to whom he dedicates the book , becomes a renowned neurosurgeon changing children's lives at John Hopkins Medical Center. An inspiring true story of determination, persistence , and faith. This 2011 reprint, with a forward by his mother, who was one of 24 siblings and married at age 13 (Can that be right ? wow ) is out in trade paperback and is a very quick read. Take two hours and restore your From inner city (Detroit) Ben Carson, a poor black kid , raised by a very determined single mother , to whom he dedicates the book , becomes a renowned neurosurgeon changing children's lives at John Hopkins Medical Center. An inspiring true story of determination, persistence , and faith. This 2011 reprint, with a forward by his mother, who was one of 24 siblings and married at age 13 (Can that be right ? wow ) is out in trade paperback and is a very quick read. Take two hours and restore your faith in humanity. The movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr. is also very good. 4 stars ...more
5

May 05, 2013

This is the true story of a remarkable man, and what led to his success. Dr. Carson is the head pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins. He began his life as a child in Detroit, Michigan. His Mom, who Dr Carson attributed much of his success to, was one of 20 plus siblings. She married at 13, and when Ben and his brother were young boys, they found out that his dad was a bigamist. When he left Ben's family, he was never seen by them again. Ben's Mom's third grade education assured her the This is the true story of a remarkable man, and what led to his success. Dr. Carson is the head pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins. He began his life as a child in Detroit, Michigan. His Mom, who Dr Carson attributed much of his success to, was one of 20 plus siblings. She married at 13, and when Ben and his brother were young boys, they found out that his dad was a bigamist. When he left Ben's family, he was never seen by them again. Ben's Mom's third grade education assured her the necessity of working three jobs to support her family. It was this attitude that started Ben and his brother on their road to success. She fostered the attitude---You are responsible for your life success--if you work hard you will succeed---if you are not succeeding, it's YOUR responsibility to make the changes to succeed!! ---God is your ever present help in life!!

Dr Carson tells of his early years of poor grades; his Mom's rules to insure that her boys would do their best in school; his raise to top student in his classes; his issues with a bad temper; his continuous faith and prayers to Jesus Christ; his raise in the medical field; his wonderful married life; and the medical procedures that led to saving lives of children with medical brain issues. The focus of people being responsible for their own success ---with NO excuses for failure---makes this a must read for EVERYONE. There is a YA version for the very young also!! The writing was very interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book!!
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2

Sep 11, 2017

Ben Carson is a gifted surgeon...and I wish he just stayed in his lane instead of taking on politics but that's a different discussion for a different time...

Gifted Hands is inspiring as he gives all the credit to God for what he has accomplished.

I feel the story borders on fantasy, and doesn't show him as a hard worker. It would have been more refreshing if things didn't seem to just "come" to him.
5

May 04, 2013

I hope that Ben Carson will run for President. This is the type of person we need to lead America back to our foundation. In his book "Gifted Hands" he shares his life story and what a story it is. Raised by a single Mom, he grows up without much of material things. He worked very hard to become a world renowned neurosurgeon. This book was also produced as a movie. I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:


“You’ve The Captain of Your Ship”
If things go bad for you-
And make you a bit ashamed,
Often I hope that Ben Carson will run for President. This is the type of person we need to lead America back to our foundation. In his book "Gifted Hands" he shares his life story and what a story it is. Raised by a single Mom, he grows up without much of material things. He worked very hard to become a world renowned neurosurgeon. This book was also produced as a movie. I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:


“You’ve The Captain of Your Ship”
If things go bad for you-
And make you a bit ashamed,
Often you will find out that
You have yourself to blame …
Swiftly we ran to mischief
And then the bad luck came.
Why do we fault others?
We have ourselves to blame …

Whatever happens to us,
Here are the words to say,
“Had it not been for so-and-so
Things wouldn’t have gone that way.”

And if you are short of friends,
I’ll tell you what to do-
Make an examination,
You’ll find the fault’s in you …

You’re the captain of your ship,
So agree with the same-
If you traveled downward,
You have yourself to blame. ~Mayme White Miller

Remember this as you go through life. The person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you! You make the choices; you decide whether you’re going to give up or ante up when the going gets tough. Ultimately, it’s you who decides whether you will be a success or not, by doing what is legally necessary to get you where you want to go, You are the captain of your own ship. If you don’t succeed, you only have yourself to blame. ~Sonya Carson

When she (Sonya Carson) believed in something she held on and wouldn’t quit. I didn’t always like hearing her say, “You weren’t born to be a failure, Bennie (Ben Carson-Sonya’s son). You can do it!” Or one of her favorites: “You just ask the Lord, and He’ll help you.” ~Ben Carson

What’s inside counts the most. Anybody can dress up on the outside and be dead inside. ~Sonya Carson

That job [the one Ben Carson had between high school and college at the Ford Motor Company; his high school counselor helped him get the job] taught me an important lesson about employment in the world beyond high school. Influence could get me inside the door, but my productivity and the quality of my work were the real tests. Just knowing a lot of information, while helpful, wasn’t enough either. The principle goes like this: It’s not what you know but the kind of job you do that makes the difference. ~Ben Carson

The kind of job doesn’t matter. The length of time on the job doesn’t matter, for it’s true even with a summer job. If you work hard and do your best, you’ll be recognized and move onward. ~Ben Carson

There isn’t anybody in the world who isn’t worth something. ~Ben Carson

As I think of Black youth, I also want to say I believe that many of our pressing racial problems will be taken care of when we who are among the minorities will stand on our own feet and refuse to look to anybody else to save us from our situations. The culture in which we live stresses looking out for number one. Without adopting such a self-centered value system, we can demand the best of ourselves while we are extending our hands to help others. ~Ben Carson

THINK BIG
T=TALENT
Learn to recognize and accept your God-given talents (and we all have them). Develop those talents and use them in the career you choose. Remembering T for talent puts you far ahead of the game if you take advantage of what God gives you. ~Ben Carson

T also = TIME
Learn the importance of time. When you are always on time, people can depend on you. You prove your trustworthiness. Learn not to waste time, because time is money and time is effort. Time usage is also a talent. God gives some people the ability to manage time. The rest of us have to learn how And we can. ~Ben Carson

H = HOPE
Don’t go around with a long face, expecting something bad to happen. Anticipate good things; watch for them. ~Ben Carson

H also = HONESTY
When you do anything dishonest, you must do something else dishonest to cover up, and your life becomes hopelessly complex. The same with telling lies. If you’re honest, you don’t have to remember what you said the last time. Speaking the truth each time makes life amazingly simple. ~Ben Carson

I = INSIGHT
Listen and learn from people who have already been where you want to go. Benefit from their mistakes instead of repeating them. Read good books like the Bible because they open up new worlds of understanding. ~Ben Carson

N = NICE
Be nice to people – all people. If you’re nice to people, they’ll be nice to you. It takes much less energy to be nice than it does to be mean. Being kind, friendly, and helpful takes less energy and relieves much of the pressure. ~Ben Carson

K = KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge is the key to independent living, the key to all your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. If you are knowledgeable, particularly more knowledgeable than anybody else in a field, you become invaluable and write your own ticket. ~Ben Carson

B = BOOKS
I emphasize that active learning from reading is better than passive learning such as listening to lectures or watching television. When you read, your mind must work by taking in letters and connecting them to form words. Words make themselves into thoughts and concepts. Developing good reading habits is something like being a champion weightlifter. The champion didn’t go into the gym one day and start lifting 500 pounds. He toned his muscles, beginning with lighter weights, always building up, and preparing for more. It’s the same thing with intellectual feats. We develop our minds by reading, by thinking, by figuring out things for ourselves. ~Ben Carson

I = IN DEPTH LEARNING
Superficial learners cram for exams but know nothing two weeks later. In-depth learners find that the acquired knowledge becomes a part of them. They understand more about themselves and their world. They keep building on prior understanding by piling on new information. ~Ben Carson

G = GOD
Never get too big for God. Never drop God out of your life. ~Ben Carson

Mother Teresa’s profound words are surely true of me and true of you: “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.” My prayer is that He will use you to write His next love letter. ~Richard Stearns

The meaning, purpose, and significance of our lives are found only by aligning our lives with God’s purposes, in lives committed to following Jesus Christ. ~Richard Stearns
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1

Feb 19, 2015

I have read dozens of memoirs, but seldom any by "celebrities"/superstars. Now I know why. The first part of the book, in which Carson recounts his early childhood and the difficulties he overcame at that time, as well as his gratitude to his mother, was readable. He has a particular point of view -- one that focuses on personal responsibility instead of systemic/structural readings of social problems (i.e., academic performance of African Americans). Fair enough. Many of the factors he narrates I have read dozens of memoirs, but seldom any by "celebrities"/superstars. Now I know why. The first part of the book, in which Carson recounts his early childhood and the difficulties he overcame at that time, as well as his gratitude to his mother, was readable. He has a particular point of view -- one that focuses on personal responsibility instead of systemic/structural readings of social problems (i.e., academic performance of African Americans). Fair enough. Many of the factors he narrates that were important to his own success -- caring adults who nurtured and pushed him to learn and excel; a "growth mindset" that allowed him to learn that he could learn, grow, and change; a goal toward which he was working -- fit with the broader literature/research about how students/people learn and grow best.

The later sections, in which he describes his work as a surgeon, was awful -- poorly edited to the point of being nearly unreadable, and self-congratulatory to the point of nausea. He often says that what he does is the work of a team, but that doesn't come through in the narrative. No matter how many times you *say* something, if you don't *show* it, the reader won't believe it.

Much of the last half of the book appears to have been a rough first draft tossed off by a junior high-age writer, rather than a polished narrative for publication. The last line of the narrative proper, "My wife, my sons -- they are the most important part of my life" -- have almost nothing to do with the story he's told up to that point, or the choices he's made. He does mention that he goes home each night in time to put his sons to bed. Clearly, being a surgeon is the kind of job that routinely requires 100 hour work weeks. Fair enough. But to then say his family is the most important thing -- it simply didn't fit together. Or at least, one can see that it's certainly possible that one's family can be "the most important thing" even if one doesn't get to spend much time with them (I certainly experience that in the requirements of my own work life), but nothing he'd written to that point supported that conclusion.

In addition, I probably brought less of an "oh wow, he's so cool" attitude to his work on separating conjoined twins than his ideal reader was expected to, due to having read Alice Dreger's _One of Us_. In it, Dreger argues quite compellingly, based on narrative evidence from conjoined twins themselves, that separating conjoined twins tells us more about mainstream culture's drive to "normalize" than the actual needs and wants of conjoined twins. Carson's silence on this subject, along with the ease with which he breezes past other thorny issues of medical ethics in the books, was troubling, and seemed indicative of a sort of moral/emotional autism.

Finally, I read this book because Carson is to be the featured speaker at the National Association for Developmental Education conference later this month. I am puzzled by his selection for that venue. Carson did not use developmental education -- he went to college prepared for credit bearing work. He does discuss the difficulties he faced at Yale as a small fish in a big pond, a new experience for him, but his experience would seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the work/needs of the main population who arrive in developmental education -- those who are academically not college ready.
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4

Mar 28, 2013

I saw this man in clips from the National Prayer Breakfast and was so impressed by him. Learning more about him, I found out that he was a world renowned neurosurgeon out of Johns Hopkins. One of my sons needed brain surgery as an infant so I probably know more information about the brain than the typical stay at home mother, I have even met doctors that I know more than (sad). My second reason for finding him interesting is that my son-in-law is in residency for neurosurgery and everyone tell I saw this man in clips from the National Prayer Breakfast and was so impressed by him. Learning more about him, I found out that he was a world renowned neurosurgeon out of Johns Hopkins. One of my sons needed brain surgery as an infant so I probably know more information about the brain than the typical stay at home mother, I have even met doctors that I know more than (sad). My second reason for finding him interesting is that my son-in-law is in residency for neurosurgery and everyone tell me neurosurgeons are mean, so I wanted to find out what a neurosurgeon's life is really like. In fact it was my son-in-law who lent me the book. I really enjoyed this book a lot. Here was a man raised in poverty, by a single mom, who rose to be one of the best scientific brains in the world. A man who had to work hard to overcome challenges but never once blamed anyone but himself if he didn't. I love how he credits his mom for helping him be better. Even with all his famous surgeries he thanks God for being there and helping him out. He realizes he is a good surgeon, but only because of the talents the Lord gave him. I wish this was required reading in high schools. I think every child regardless of their place in the world could benefit from this. ...more
5

Aug 31, 2008

EXCELLENT BOOK. A surgeon's long journey from knife-wielding, street fighter in Detroit to master of the scalpel--a leader in pediatric neurosugery. I admired the way he gave God credit for his successes and the influence of his mother, who only went as far as 3rd grade herself.
5

Dec 16, 2010

I read this for a biography paper I did in elementary school, and I'm embarrassed to say that it usually takes a school assignment in order for me to read nonfiction (something I'll have to change, as I'm now obviously out of school). I really should re-read this, because I don't remember much about it at all, except for what the Cuba Gooding Jr. TV movie stirred up for me, and the fact that Dr. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist, along with, of course, the basics of the brilliant procedure I read this for a biography paper I did in elementary school, and I'm embarrassed to say that it usually takes a school assignment in order for me to read nonfiction (something I'll have to change, as I'm now obviously out of school). I really should re-read this, because I don't remember much about it at all, except for what the Cuba Gooding Jr. TV movie stirred up for me, and the fact that Dr. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist, along with, of course, the basics of the brilliant procedure Carson is known for.

What really impresses me about this book now that I look back at it, though, is that while it was written by a man with vast medical knowledge, and does contain its share of jargon, the writing is clear enough that I understood so much of the medical stuff even then. A professor of mine once mentioned an author (I want to say D.H. Lawrence, but that could just be because he was one of the prof's faves) who would read everything he wrote to his neighbor, a little old woman who wasn't particularly educated, and if she didn't understand what his writing was talking about, he'd go back and write it over again. Ben Carson made me understand what was going on in a brain surgery when I was ten. That's good writing. ...more
5

Jan 23, 2014

A wonderful book! I really enjoyed reading about Ben Carson and his story. The whole premise of this book can be shared in Ben's statement that "It's my belief that God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve Him and humanity." Ben Carson shares his life story, starting from when he was eight years old and the events and people that played a major role in forming who he was and his beliefs. One of his biggest influences was from his mother, A wonderful book! I really enjoyed reading about Ben Carson and his story. The whole premise of this book can be shared in Ben's statement that "It's my belief that God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve Him and humanity." Ben Carson shares his life story, starting from when he was eight years old and the events and people that played a major role in forming who he was and his beliefs. One of his biggest influences was from his mother, who always encouraged him to be the best he could be, that it didn't matter what color he was or any body else---it's who you are on the inside that matters. His mother had only received a third grade education, however, she was a hard worker and encouraged Ben and his older brother to do well in school, having them read two books every week and were only allowed to watch three television shows a week.

I particularly liked Ben's belief in God and how he recognized His hand throughout his life. Ben never took credit for his accomplishments, but returned the credit to God directing his hands during surgery or for influencing the paths he took in his life. He also acknowledged the talent with whom he worked with and knew that nothing could happen without teamwork. He believed, "God has an overall plan for people's lives and the details get worked out along the way, even though we usually have no idea what's going on." I also love his "THINK BIG" principles and his desire to share his message with people, especially youth (i.e., Talent, Time, Hope, Honesty, Insight, Nice, Knowledge, Books, In-Depth Learning, and God). He says, "To THINK BIG and use our talents doesn't mean we won't have difficulties along the way. We will---we all do. How we view those problems determines how we end up. If we choose to see the obstacles in our path as barriers, we stop trying ... however, if we choose to see the obstacles as hurdles, we can leap over them. Successful people don't have fewer problems. They have determined that nothing will stop them from going forward. Whatever direction we choose, if we can realize that every hurdle we jump strengthens and prepares us for the next one, we're already on the way to success."

This book was highly motivating for me to better trust God and the talents He's given me, to follow my dreams and passions, and to not give up. This book is full of hope and encourages all to be the best we can be, while helping others along the way. ...more
3

Jan 30, 2009

This is a well written book. I have mixed reviews of Ben Carson. His talent and drive is unmeasurable, and his most admireable quality is his relationship and respect for God. But there isn't much he does not htink of himself. His arrogance in his own abilities at times put me off. Several times in his book her dismisses everyone else's opinion and continues to do as he pleases. I am not sure whether that is a lesson for me in needing to belive in yourself or permission to be completely This is a well written book. I have mixed reviews of Ben Carson. His talent and drive is unmeasurable, and his most admireable quality is his relationship and respect for God. But there isn't much he does not htink of himself. His arrogance in his own abilities at times put me off. Several times in his book her dismisses everyone else's opinion and continues to do as he pleases. I am not sure whether that is a lesson for me in needing to belive in yourself or permission to be completely self-absorbed.
He has had an amazing life. His willingness to work and overcome everything (father, upbringing, predudices, impossible surgeries ect). But i ofter asked my self while reading this... at what cost. He speaks of his wife with love and respect but where is she in all this. She was also a Harvard student, talented in her own rights... What about his boys? HIs faith in GOd and what God has done is amazing. But several times I asked what happens when God does not anwser.. or give us the stregneth. It seemed that he was never tested that way. That he never had to accept "God's will". Or was he so comfortable with his abilities that if he did his best he was off the hook? Random thoughts that kept me thinking throughout the book.
...more
5

Aug 16, 2018

I first became aware of Ben Carson when he was being interviewed and said about politics:"it isn't brain surgery...brain surgery is harder".Dr. Carson has written one of the best motivational books I've come across.He describes his craft/art well,he is always kind,honest and admirably grateful.He is not afraid to honour his belief in God.I am sort of glad he didn't become President.A man of his class and character shouldn't have to deal with a vicious prevaricating media.
This is the second I first became aware of Ben Carson when he was being interviewed and said about politics:"it isn't brain surgery...brain surgery is harder".Dr. Carson has written one of the best motivational books I've come across.He describes his craft/art well,he is always kind,honest and admirably grateful.He is not afraid to honour his belief in God.I am sort of glad he didn't become President.A man of his class and character shouldn't have to deal with a vicious prevaricating media.
This is the second biography I've read about Black neurosurgeons,Dr.Keith Black's was the first.I have learned enough about their work that my offer of free brain surgery still stands!Read both of these books.I would also read anything by Ben's mother.What a remarkably superior human being. ...more
3

Nov 29, 2016

I really appreciated the Christian faith of Ben Carson and how he isn't afraid to mention how much it made up his perspective and life. At times I was prepared to hear more of his struggle in being a black male in the white world of the medicine, he was very fortunate that most of it was positive and didn't stop him from achievement.
5

May 07, 2013

Written in 1990, Gifted Hands is the autobiography of Ben Carson, who became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at the ripe old age of 33. Growing up in Detroit, the son of a single black woman with a third grade education, it would be expected that Carson would dissolve into inner city oblivion. Instead, because of his mother's vision of potential, Ben and his brother both rose to prominence in their respective fields.

I found his mother's story to be inspiring. A simple demand Written in 1990, Gifted Hands is the autobiography of Ben Carson, who became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at the ripe old age of 33. Growing up in Detroit, the son of a single black woman with a third grade education, it would be expected that Carson would dissolve into inner city oblivion. Instead, because of his mother's vision of potential, Ben and his brother both rose to prominence in their respective fields.

I found his mother's story to be inspiring. A simple demand that her sons limit television viewing and read books instead (when she couldn't read herself) Carson believes was instrumental in their success in school. She never made excuses, cast blame, and instead took responsibility for her children.

Carson tells it all, from his bad attitudes and laziness, to people who helped him along the way. Approximately half way through the book (after he started working at Johns Hopkins) he explains many of the cases he took on as a pediatric neurosurgeon. He is most famous for separating conjoined twins, which at that point had never been successfully done. He credits his team members in the 22-hour operation, and explained the planning of the operation 5 months ahead of time. I found all that fascinating.

Finally, he encourages young people to think big, an acronym which he explains in greater depth. He genuinely has a heart for young people, and I think this book should be required reading for every teenager. He concludes with this admonition: "To think big and to use our talents doesn't mean we won't have difficulties along the way. We will--we all do. How we view those problems determines how we end up. If we choose to see the obstacles in our path as barriers, we stop trying.....However, if we choose to see the obstacles as hurdles, we can leap over them. Successful people don't have fewer problems. They have determined that nothing will stop them from going forward. Whatever direction we choose, if we can realize that every hurdle we jump strengthens and prepares us for the next one, we're already on the way to success." ...more
3

Mar 02, 2013

My dad gave me this book and made me read it. It's basically the autobiography of Dr. Ben Carson, a world renowned neurosurgeon that made headlines worldwide for his part in the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head. The first half of the book is about his life. From his childhood through med-school, through his marriage and his children. His story is very interesting. He comes from a broken family, his mother raised him and his brother by herself in My dad gave me this book and made me read it. It's basically the autobiography of Dr. Ben Carson, a world renowned neurosurgeon that made headlines worldwide for his part in the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head. The first half of the book is about his life. From his childhood through med-school, through his marriage and his children. His story is very interesting. He comes from a broken family, his mother raised him and his brother by herself in down-town Detroit. Her mother works as a maid and the family barely gets by. The young Ben struggles at school and gets low grades, then her mother forces them to drop watching TV and playing outside. She forces them to borrow and read books from the library. At first he hates this but then learns to love books. Eventually, his grades go up until he eventually graduates with high honors and gets into Yale, then later on Johns Hopkins. Through it all he encounters difficulties like his rage, fights, peer-pressure, among other things. But he gets through them all. The other half of the book is basically about the preparation and operation of the Siamese twins and some of his other patients. Gifted Hands is the riveting story of one man’s secret for success, tested against daunting odds and driven by an incredible mindset that dares to take risks. This inspiring autobiography takes you into the operating room to witness surgeries that made headlines around the world — and into the private mind of a compassionate, God-fearing physician who lives to help others. ...more
4

May 06, 2015

"I emphasize that active learning from reading is better than passive learning such as listening to lectures or watching television. When you read, your mind must work by taking in letters and connecting them to form words. Words make themselves into thoughts and concepts. Developing good reading habits is something like being a champion weightlifter. The champion didn’t go into the gym one day and start lifting 500 pounds. He toned his muscles, beginning with lighter weights, always building "I emphasize that active learning from reading is better than passive learning such as listening to lectures or watching television. When you read, your mind must work by taking in letters and connecting them to form words. Words make themselves into thoughts and concepts. Developing good reading habits is something like being a champion weightlifter. The champion didn’t go into the gym one day and start lifting 500 pounds. He toned his muscles, beginning with lighter weights, always building up, and preparing for more. It’s the same thing with intellectual feats. We develop our minds by reading, by thinking, by figuring out things for ourselves."

I loved Dr. Carson's story! From the ghetto to the operating table, he has lead one cool surgeon life. I loved his different views on God, racism, and the effort that it takes to achieve your dreams.

Erika's Amazon Link ...more

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