A Primate's Memoir by Robert M. Sapolsky

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In the tradition of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Robert Sapolsky, a foremost science writer and recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, tells the mesmerizing story of his twenty-one years in remote Kenya with a troop of Savannah baboons.

“I had never planned to become a savanna baboon when I grew up; instead, I had always assumed I would become a mountain gorilla,” writes Robert Sapolsky in this witty and riveting chronicle of a scientist’s coming-of-age in remote Africa.

An exhilarating account of Sapolsky’s twenty-one-year study of a troop of rambunctious baboons in Kenya, A Primate’s Memoir interweaves serious scientific observations with wry commentary about the challenges and pleasures of living in the wilds of the Serengeti—for man and beast alike. Over two decades, Sapolsky survives culinary atrocities, gunpoint encounters, and a surreal kidnapping, while witnessing the encroachment of the tourist mentality on the farthest vestiges of unspoiled Africa. As he conducts unprecedented physiological research on wild primates, he becomes evermore enamored of his subjects—unique and compelling characters in their own right—and he returns to them summer after summer, until tragedy finally prevents him.

By turns hilarious and poignant, A Primate’s Memoir is a magnum opus from one of our foremost science writers.

About Robert M. Sapolsky

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Robert M. Sapolsky is the author of several works of nonfiction, including A Primate's Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone, and Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers. He is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant. He lives in San Francisco.
Published November 1, 2007 by Scribner. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Self Help, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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As funny and irreverent as a good ol' boy regaling his friends with vacation-from-hell stories, Sapolsky can also be disarmingly emotional—as in his clear-headed tribute to late gorilla researcher Dian Fossey, and his final chapters, which reveal his rage and impotence as he watched his baboons s...

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Book Reporter

He dreamed of studying mountain gorillas and learned Swahili in high school so as to prepare to fulfill what he felt was his destiny --- to study these magnificent animals.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of A Primate's Memoir

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