Memoir

A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life by Robert M. Sapolsky

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Publish 12 months note: First released in 2001
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In the culture of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Robert Sapolsky, a leading technological know-how author and recipient of a MacArthur Genius provide, tells the enthralling tale of his twenty-one years in distant Kenya with a troop of Savannah baboons.

"I had by no means deliberate to develop into a savanna baboon whilst I grew up; as an alternative, I had regularly assumed i might turn into a mountain gorilla," writes Robert Sapolsky during this witty and riveting chronicle of a scientist's coming-of-age in distant Africa.

An exhilarating account of Sapolsky's twenty-one-year examine of a troop of rambunctious baboons in Kenya, A Primate's Memoir interweaves critical medical observations with wry statement concerning the demanding situations and pleasures of dwelling within the wilds of the Serengeti—for guy and beast alike. Over twenty years, Sapolsky survives culinary atrocities, gunpoint encounters, and a surreal kidnapping, whereas witnessing the encroachment of the vacationer mentality at the farthest vestiges of unspoiled Africa. As he conducts unheard of physiological study on wild primates, he turns into evermore enamored of his subjects—unique and compelling characters of their personal right—and he returns to them summer season after summer time, until eventually tragedy eventually prevents him.

By turns hilarious and poignant, A Primate's Memoir is a magnum opus from one in all our finest technological know-how writers.

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Additional resources for A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons

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Plus there’s the prebed work of taking out my contact lenses, brushing my teeth, and washing my face. But I’d made my resolution, so resolutely I headed to bed. , so in addition to getting a good night’s sleep, I had the chance to do a peaceful block of work while my family was still in bed. I’m a real know-it-all, so I was pleased when my sister called and complained of insomnia. Elizabeth is five years younger than I am, but usually I’m the one asking her for advice. “I’m not getting any sleep,” she said.

I was no more or less organized than before, but our visual chaos dropped. I’d dreaded doing the clutter clearing, because it seemed like such an enormous job, and it was an enormous job, but every time I looked around and saw the extra space and order, I registered a little jolt of energy. I was thrilled with the improved conditions in our apartment, and I kept waiting for Jamie to say, “Boy, everything looks terrific! ” But he never did. I love my gold stars, so that was disappointing, but on the other hand, he didn’t complain about lugging five hundred pounds of stuff to the thrift store.

Often this was an exhausting enough prospect to make me fall asleep. And sometimes I gave up and took an Ambien. After a week or so of more sleep, I began to feel a real difference. I felt more energetic and cheerful with my children in the morning. I didn’t feel a painful, never-fulfilled urge to take a nap in the afternoon. Getting out of bed in the morning was no longer torture; it’s so much nicer to wake up naturally instead of being jerked out of sleep by a buzzing alarm. Nevertheless, despite all the benefits, I still struggled to put myself to bed as soon as I felt sleepy.

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