By Robert M. Sapolsky
Publish yr note: First released in 2001
In the culture of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Robert Sapolsky, a greatest technology 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; as a substitute, I had continually 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 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 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 extraordinary physiological learn 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 time, till tragedy eventually prevents him.
By turns hilarious and poignant, A Primate's Memoir is a magnum opus from certainly one of our prime technology writers.
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Additional resources for A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
We stayed with him for the first couple of nights. From his place, he had the exact same view of New York as you see on the Miramax logo. It was night-time when we arrived and the whole city was illuminated. Even though it was November, it was still a lot warmer than it had been in Russia. To me, the climate was like summer time, even though it was actually winter. My new studio in New Jersey, the Fred Astaire Studio, was owned by a couple named Charlie and Jeanie Penattello; we lived 42 Pasha RHB Text_p001_256_Pasha RHB Text_p001_256 29/07/2013 12:42 Page 43 MY STORY with them for three months while working there.
I think this was the time when it really hit us that, if we were serious about putting dancing above all else, it would take a lot of personal sacrifice. Other people struggled with it more than I did. For me, it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I’d become very independent. By that point, I was aware of my own independence and I found it exciting. I thought of myself as a man because I’d been so used to making my own rules and having very little supervision or routine. I don’t remember my mum getting involved or having her say in the decision for me to move again, although she was supportive when I told her.
We used to pretend that we could speak English because it seemed to us this was an indicator of being cool. In reality, we didn’t know what we were singing, so we used to invent meanings. I remember we would sometimes do our warm-up to MC Hammer’s ‘Can’t Touch This’, which I turned into ‘kim-chosetis’ when I sang along, because to me that’s what it sounded like. Later in my life, when I moved to the States and learned English, I realised that the meanings we’d given these songs were totally wrong.
A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons by Robert M. Sapolsky