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The Trouble With Testosterone: And Other Essays On The Biology Of The Human Predicament Paperback – April 24, 1998
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"Sapolsky draws fascinating parallels between humans and our close primate relatives and provides abundant details about some of the latest breaking discoveries in neurobiology . . . [He] packs his treatments of them with wisdom and delightful surprises." ― Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
"In the end it is the refreshing honesty of this scientist-teacher, his zeal to speculate as well as to clearly present the facts, that engages the reader. That, and a deft and often witty way with words." ― Kirkus
"[T]he book makes for very interesting and enjoyable reading. Those who have read Sapolsky's earlier books will be familiar with his casual and accessible style of writing. Although the ideas he presents are complex and often provocative, the facts are kept relatively simple. Throughout, the science is interspersed with personal anecdotes and humorous asides." ― Nature Medicine
About the Author
- Publisher : Scribner; First Touchstone Edition (April 24, 1998)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0684838915
- ISBN-13 : 978-0684838915
- Item Weight : 7.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.44 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #337,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The tales here cover his familiar subjects: the mind and emotions (one is tempted to say the soul), stress and our reactions, and how brain chemistry effects us every day. He also relates anecdotes from his baboon observations, and in the most touching essay talks about his father's life and death. The essays are gathered from several years and several magazines and each stands on its own...there is no particular theme beyond the aforementioned subject matter. The best is probably about how we sometimes take on the identity of another: illustrated by an anecdote where he watched Stephen Hawking give a lecture "through" the voice and body of a vigorous young graduate student, and Sapolsky's own odd reaction to his father's death. It is interesting, mildly disturbing and raises some ideas about individuality I certainly had never considered. In another essay, Sapolsky describes why so many illnesses have the same symptoms (its because it is our own immune systems that make us feel so crummy). Elsewhere he draws parallels betweens kids going off to college and male baboons switching tribes, and in yet another essay compares aging in baboons and humans.
So, should you read this book?
"Yes", if you have read other Sapolsky books and are looking for more.
"Yes", if you have heard about Sapolsky and want an introduction before diving into one of the larger works (though I still think 'A Primate's Memoir' is the best place to start).
"Yes", if you are interested in the brain and/or like good science writing.
Sapolsky saves the best for last in the chapter on "Circling the Blanket for God". He discusses a controversial take on the origins of religion, and asks the reader to either stop reading at that point if he/she finds the material offensive, or finish the chapter if he/she chooses to continue.
Sapolsky's writing is easy to understand, and his ideas are thought provoking. This is definitely an educational as well as an entertaining piece of work.
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!
Top reviews from other countries
Ciònonostante, chi dovesse conoscere il saggista e lo scienziato Robert Sapolsky, non rimarrà deluso. Chi invece non lo dovesse conoscere, scoprirà uno scrittore suggestivo, intrigante e molto colto che lo condurrà attraverso la biologia, la neurobiologia, la biochimica e la psicologia.
Completa bene le opere di Sapolsky. Andrebbe letto assieme a Perché alle zebre non viene l'ulcera e L'uomo bestiale. Come l'ambiente e i geni costruiscono la nostra identità perché sia per tema che per aderenza argomentativa, risulta incastrarsi perfettamente assieme a questi due.
Il linguaggio è semplice ma non banale. Da studente di medicina lo apprezzo per le connessioni tra lo studio e la materia di studio. Da ordinario lettore, lo apprezzo perché assieme ad altri pochi altri è un comunicatore d'avanguardia. Colma un gap che si avvertiva nelle neuroscienze.
Consigliato sia a chi già studia nel suo campo, sia chi, pur non studiandone ne è semplicemente incuriosito.