Book Review: Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Book Review: Concussion by Jeanne Marie LaskasConcussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Published by Random House Publishing Group on November 24th 2015
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Football, Medical, Science & Technology, Sports & Recreation, Sports Medicine
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Will Smith, Concussion is the riveting, unlikely story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who made one of the most significant medical discoveries of the twenty-first century, a discovery that challenges the existence of America’s favorite sport and puts Omalu in the crosshairs of football’s most powerful corporation: the NFL.  

I saw that this book, Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas, was soon to be released as a movie, so I really wanted to read the book before I would see the movie. I know the movie was just released starring Will Smith, so I wanted to share a bit about the book here.

Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas is the story of Bennet Omalu, who is credited as the first person to discover what he called CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) which continues to have repercussions in sports. This book shares how Omalu came to America from Nigeria, earned several medical degrees, and focused on brain pathology. When former Steeler player, Mike Webster died many years ago of a heart attack after exhibiting bizarre and violent behavior, Dr. Omalu examined Webster’s brain in great detail and found proof of CTE.

Dr. Omalu found this same evidence of CTE in other football players over the course of his career. The brains of other dead NFL players exhibited the same findings, and the conclusion was that these injuries were the result of repeated concussions the players had experienced in their professional careers.  Once the NFL admitted to have a problem related to CTE in its retired players, it gave credence to what Dr. Omalu knew all along.  I am glad to know that the NFL finally admitted their mistakes and that Dr. Omalu’s work is now known to the public.

I had heard about this doctor and of the brain injuries being sustained by many football players and the residual effects of those injuries. I felt that Ms. Laskas did an amazing job of relating the various points of view regarding this important topic, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie interpretation of this book!

About the Author: Jeanne_marie_Laskas  Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of seven books, including Concussion, Hidden America, and The Exact Same Moon. Her writing has appeared in GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, and many other publications.

Laskas serves as director of The Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing, and she lives on a horse farm in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.


I was provided with a complimentary digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and unbiased opinion.

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