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Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Third Edition Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 3rd edition (August 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805073698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805073690
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Preface

Why Don't Zebras Get Ulcers?
Glands, Gooseflesh, and Hormones
Stroke, Heart Attacks, and Voodoo Death
Stress, Metabolism, and Liquidating Your Assets
Ulcers, the Runs, and Hot Fudge Sundaes
Dwarfism and the Importance of Mothers
Sex and Reproduction
Immunity, Stress, and Disease
Stress and Pain
Stress and Memory
Stress and a Good Night's Sleep
Aging and Death
Why Is Psychological Stress Stressful?
Stress and Depression
Personality, Temperament, and Their Stress-Related Consequences
Junkies, Adrenaline Junkies, and Pleasure
The View from the Bottom
Managing Stress

Notes
Illustration Credits
Index

About the Author

Robert M. Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research, National Museum of Kenya. He is the author of A Primate's Memoir and The Trouble with Testosterone, which was a Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist. A regular contributor to Discover and The Sciences, and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, he lives in San Francisco.

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting book and easy to read.
SilvioMedina
He draws both on personal experience and solid research to lead you through a detailed understanding of how stress affects our bodies as well as our psyches.
Michael Joseph
I have a feeling this book can help me out a bit.
Anon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

137 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Denver C. on September 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book has helped me understand the science of stress and some unpleasant results that I've been experiencing. I'm someone who always wants to know WHY certain things are happening, and finds that helpful when figuring out how to fix them. I really like the author's tone: He's a scientist, but one with a great sense of humor and also a lot of compassion. This book, while not exactly New Agey/touchy-feely, is also not cold and clinical as it explains the biology behind stress and how it affects body and mind. Once you reach the point where you say, "OK, now I understand how stress is affecting me ... Now what do I DO about it?," you'll probably need resources other than this book. But if, like me, you like to start out with a good understanding of what the problem is, then this book is a great place to find that foundation.
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on March 17, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This new edition of why Zebra's Don't Get Ulcers is extensively revised and exceeds earlier additions in terms of explaining the effects of stress on the body. This is a very detailed exploration, but well worth the sometimes difficult reading. If you don't have some sort of background in biology, you may find that you have to read it a bit more slowly.

Sapolsky as always explains his topics very clearly and uses humor and good examples to illustrate important points. I particularly liked his analogy of two elephants on a teeter totter for the ways in which the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system can become imbalanced under chronic stress from being activated to frequently and where each is trying to compensate for the massive activation of the other in a vicious cycle.

Sapolosky also develops the implications of long term stress and explains the mechanisms involved in a lot of detail. He also explores how mechanisms that evolved to save our lives in actual life and death struggles can hurt us by being activated over things like traffic jams or missed deadlines.

An example that he uses in the book is that if you are a zebra with your guts dragging on the ground while you are being stocked by a predator, then maybe it's useful not to experience pain under stress. If you may not be alive in an hour, then shutting down long term building processes and depressing short term immunity makes sense as does a narrowing of the attention.

The author goes on to further explain in the example above that the real problem comes when the flight or fight response is triggered chronically and long term repair and important building projects like bolstering immunity are depressed for long periods of time.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By D. Teasley on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
From my background as a biologist, this book really covers the topic with strong support and detail. From my perspective as a reader, it's a true page-turner that doesn't just accomplish its point, but goes well beyond. Sapolsky brilliantly makes incredibly complex systems seem simple and mechanistic by breaking them into manageable pieces and using strong analogies, making a prior knowledge of neuroscience unecessary. Humorous, witty, and easy-to-understand, this book is a must for anyone remotely interested in the topic of stress!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Michael Joseph on March 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Imagine yourself at your favorite watering hole in an African savannah. You spot a lion. Your body hops up. Your stress response shifts into high gear. And all just as it was designed to do. Now imagine yourself sitting in front of a new mortgage, worrying about if your boss likes you, or if you look too fat, or your hair is just not falling the way it did after its fresh new cut. Your body hops up, and your stress response shifts into high gear. Only difference, no lion. And this lionless stress, day after day after day will take its toll. Depression, ulcers, heart disease, colitis, irritable bowl syndrome, and more.

Sapolsky's hard-hitting and entertaining book will inform you exactly why too much stress will make you sick. He lives half of his life in a neuroendocrine lab in Stanford, the other half camped out with stressed out baboons in Africa. He draws both on personal experience and solid research to lead you through a detailed understanding of how stress affects our bodies as well as our psyches. You'll get no mantras, no workbook exercises, and no easy step-by-step guides to follow. Nor does he fool around with feel good proclamations. What you will get is a lot of scientifically based facts based on solid research.

Sapolsky is a scientist, and comes to the subject with a scientist's critical eyes. He is also a brilliant and entertaining writer, who knows how to give his message a personal touch. You'll sit through page after page feeling as though he's talking just to you. (Did you know that Type A personality was first discovered by an upholsterer? Or that graves used to be robbed by medical schools to provide it with fresh bodies, and how this is connected to why SIDS was erroneously thought to be caused by abnormally large thyroids?
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Papagena on July 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Suddenly I found out that my co-workers needed medicines to go on with their lives, a friend of mine is a workaholic and she has terrible stomachaches, another one took her life after a long depression following a very stressful time, ...

My life is great but sometimes I have to fight against anxiety that comes from I do not know where...

I read this book and now at least I have an explanation, a scientific model for certain behaviours.

The language is so clear that anyone can understand what stress is, how it affects our bodies, why some people develop ulcer and others do not. And it is funny, entertaining, telling little stories as well as technical data.

It is exactly what a scientific book for the masses must be. I highly recommend it.
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