Capture – A Theory Of The Mind – Book Review


Capture by David A. Kessler – Book Review

Does human psychology fascinate you? Have you ever wondered why people think, feel and act the way they do – particularly when their behavior is detrimental to their overall well-being, safety and health?

If so, you are not alone.

Former US FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler has wondered about these things as well. For decades, David studied the involuntary ways that substances such as tobacco, food and drugs could control our actions. As he so clearly points out:

Nobody ever decides he’s going to smoke 780,000 cigarettes over the course of a lifetime – people think they’re going to try smoking once, or perhaps a few times to see what it’s like. We don’t want to eat until we feel sick, but many of us do it anyway.

In the midst of his research, David began to wonder what it was that caused us to lose control of our behavior, and if the same biological force that exerted such control over our wills could also be responsible for the wide range of human emotional suffering.

David’s latest book, Capture – A Theory Of The Mind contains the results of his findings.

Capture provides us with a fascinating look at the human mind and how it works – particularly in regards to outside stimuli. David believes that when we are exposed to an outside stimulus that takes hold of our attention and shifts our perceptions, our attention becomes increasingly focused on that stimulus and shifts the way that we think, act and feel.

He calls this process “capture” and says that it is accompanied by a narrowing of attention, a perceived lack of control, and a change in effect or emotional state.

As you read Capture, you’ll have the opportunity to watch David deconstruct centuries of thinking as he:

  • Examines the origins of everyday unhappiness, addiction and depression and asks, how are they connected
  • Explores how healing and transcendence fit into this realm of emotional experience
  • Examines the central role of capture in mental illness and questions traditional labels that obscure our understanding of it
  • Uses the concept of capture to explore the stories of both well-known and unknown people who have been caught in the throes of mental illness

Capture is a fascinating and thorough look into a world that many of us come into contact with at some point in our lives, but few of us truly understand.

About David A. Kessler, M.D.

David A Kessler

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.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through TLC Book Tours for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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5 Responses to “Capture – A Theory Of The Mind – Book Review”

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  1. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  2. trish says:

    Our mind is a really fascinating organ! It’s amazing how much doctors know about it, but also how little they know about it.

  3. Lisa Orchard says:

    This sounds very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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