A Primate's Memoir

A Primate's Memoir

A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9780743202411, 304pp.

Publication Date: March 12, 2002

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 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 "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers", "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.

Praise For A Primate's Memoir

Rob Nixon
The New York Times Book Review

A Primate's Memoir is the closest the baboon is likely to come...to having its own Iliad.

Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times

Sapolsky has a huge appetite for life...He writes exactly as if he's telling stories around a fire in the bush.

Lynn Yarris

A Primate's Memoir flies along like a well-paced and finely crafted novel...[giving] us a cast of characters as memorably colorful as any that Dickens ever created.