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Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
From the man who Oliver Sacks hailed as “one of the best scientist/writers of our time,” a collection of sharply observed, uproariously funny essays on the biology of human culture and behavior.
In the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould and Oliver Sacks, Robert Sapolsky offers a sparkling and erudite collection of essays about science, the world, and our relation to both. “The Trouble with Testosterone” explores the influence of that notorious hormone on male aggression. “Curious George’s Pharmacy” reexamines recent exciting claims that wild primates know how to medicate themselves with forest plants. “Junk Food Monkeys” relates the adventures of a troop of baboons who stumble upon a tourist garbage dump. And “Circling the Blanket for God” examines the neurobiological roots underlying religious belief.
Drawing on his career as an evolutionary biologist and neurobiologist, Robert Sapolsky writes about the natural world vividly and insightfully. With candor, humor, and rich observations, these essays marry cutting-edge science with humanity, illuminating the interconnectedness of the world’s inhabitants with skill and flair.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Sapolsky may be the best neuroscience writer alive
By Interested Learner
Sapolsky may be the best neuroscience writer alive, with the demise of O. Sacks. Sapolsky's magnum opus is "Why Zebras Don't get Ulcers," dealing with stress/anxiety in the Keekorok baboon troop that he and his grad students have studied in the Masai Mara for almost 3 decades. But that entertaining book may be a little long and one can get the basics in Chapters 10, 13, and 15. In the 21st century is "flight-or-fight" the correct ANS response from our evolutionary ancestors - or is "tend and befriend" a better, cooperative strategy to resolve differences? Although some politicians think otherwise, cooperation is the new competition. The "T. with Testosterone" book is one of short essays/reports, more digestible for the YouTube/TED generation, better IMHO than Sapolsky's columns in the WSJournal. The book allows us to learn from a longitudinal study of baboons, whose life-span is 25 years. The "The Graying of the Troop" chapter will be of particular interest to those seniors who were in upper administration. Have we advanced beyond baboons in terms of how we treat seniors?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Great book! Lots of interesting essays
Robert Sapolsky have a unique way to explain very difficult concepts in a simple and interesting way.
This book have a collection of highly interesting essays about behavior, how the brain works and neuroscience.
He makes you have another perspective. Read it and see for yourself what I mean!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Beyond Nature vs Nurture
By John A. Buehrens
Although his tone can be haughty and arch, Sapolsky's lively prose and self-critical openness help keep one reading his fascinating insights into current biological understandings of human and animal behavior. Each older essay has an update and a bibliography.
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