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

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Publish yr note: First released in 2001

In the culture of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Robert Sapolsky, a most efficient technological know-how author and recipient of a MacArthur Genius provide, tells the spell binding 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 while I grew up; in its place, I had regularly assumed i'd 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 learn of a troop of rambunctious baboons in Kenya, A Primate's Memoir interweaves severe medical observations with wry observation concerning the demanding situations and pleasures of dwelling within the wilds of the Serengeti—for guy and beast alike. Over 20 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 exceptional 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 time after summer season, until eventually tragedy ultimately prevents him.

By turns hilarious and poignant, A Primate's Memoir is a magnum opus from considered one of our finest technology writers.

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They didn’t find him until several days later when the building’s air conditioner wouldn’t work. Everyone gets depressed, perhaps even despondent; but I’ve never contemplated killing myself. We’ll all be dead soon enough. Robin’s Rump Roast Rip-off Fred G. Robin III had picked up some information from one of his sources at Fort Bliss that civilian employees at the base commissary were selling store food out the back door. Robin swung into action; it could be a really big scheme, he proclaimed. Shortly before Christmas, he talked the office into loaning him half a dozen agents to set up surveillance on the commissary.

Thank God — while we were there, I never set foot outside. It was the longest month of my life. Stuffing eight guys in a 1,000-square-foot house was akin to jamming ten pounds of potatoes into a five-pound bag; it was terribly crowded. We worked in shifts around the clock; four guys were always on duty while the remainder slept in sleeping bags in the other bedroom. This case occurred in the dead middle of a West Texas winter. The wind howled, the temperature was in the teens, and the leaky house was built before insulation was common.

I’d hitchhike from Comanche to Duncan and back again after work. Often, I’d have to walk a long way from where I was dropped off. But other times, a driver would go out of his way to take me directly to the shop. Most of my pay went to Vola, who gave it to Uncle Cecil for food. We stayed in Comanche for a month or two, until my mother could save up enough from ironing and cleaning for us to move back to Duncan. Her father, Grandpa Will, helped however he could but he was poor too. We were all poor.

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