And Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9780743260169, 209pp.

Publication Date: October 10, 2006

How do imperceptibly small differences in the environment change one's behavior? What is the anatomy of a bad mood? Does stress shrink our brains? What does "People" magazine's list of America's "50 Most Beautiful People" teach us about nature and nurture? What makes one organism sexy to another? What makes one orgasm different from another? Who will be the winner in the genetic war between the sexes?
Welcome to "Monkeyluv," a curious and entertaining collection of essays about the human animal in all its fascinating variety, from Robert M. Sapolsky, America's most beloved neurobiologist/primatologist. Organized into three sections, each tackling a Big Question in natural science, "Monkeyluv" offers a lively exploration of the influence of genes and the environment on behavior; the social and political -- and, of course, sexual -- implications of behavioral biology; and society's shaping of the individual. From the mating rituals of prairie dogs to the practice of religion in the rain forest, the secretion of pheromones to bugs in the brain, Sapolsky brilliantly synthesizes cutting-edge scientific research with wry, erudite observations about the enormous complexity of simply being human. Thoughtful, engaging, and infused with pop-cultural insights, this collection will appeal to the inner monkey in all of us.

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 Monkeyluv

"Wry, witty prose...each essay brings its own unexpected delight."

-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)