Book Report on Robert M. Sapolskys A Primates Memoir

Written by the famous Sapolsky , the book is about primates and is classified as a non-fiction book. As one of the finest natural history writers around, Sapolsky has authored another book that includes many crazy things that Sapolsky did in his young age involving baboons. This book not only keeps the reputation of the author as a witty writer with humor involved in most of the write-ups, but also offers more to the readers. The book flows with largely from the youth of Sapolsky who throws himself at the world facing many consequences later in his life (Rob, 2001).

The task of surviving and studying baboons for 20 years in East Africa could only be accomplished by Sapolsky who has an extreme absurd sense. The task well completed and his study completed, Sapolsky was ready to write a book on primates. The fluent writing and the humor of this biologist set him apart from other natural biologists as he recreates the scenes of baboon interactions, ultimate sad fate, a fragile civilization and human encounters as well. This includes a kidnapping, the legacy of Jane Goodall and the dealings with the local Masai. This book is an account of a rewarding but an odd life of a vicarious baboon (Hofert et al., 2002).

In this book Sapolsky has an inclination towards comedy that is very effective and can turn a scene into full of humor. However, at times, Sapolsky makes an effort to immerse the reader into an experience where the reader thinks that he is in for a good time. A person starts wishing that he was present in the scenes described in the book himself. As the book flows, in the latter part the humor declines and forces the readers to trust his stories and descriptions. Since the stories are remarkable, the reader finds himself in the position of trusting the author with the stories (Rob, 2001).

However, the adventures and the scenes recreated by Sapolsky are based on the underlying fact that the author wants to convey to the readers that testosterone plus aggression does not equal social dominance. The base of the book is that study of male stress in baboons. Sapolsky has been researching on baboons since years now which lead him to deduce that the males with the highest demonstrated testosterone are the ones who fight the most frequently over status. These are mostly the low ranking males and are more prone to stress related illnesses. However, his study has revealed that the males with lowest stress level hormones are the ones that engage in nonaggressive contact with the troop members and participate regularly in social grooming (Rob, 2001).
The book is closed by a person with much more knowledge about the baboons and many matters related to them. But more importantly, the readers start to miss the company of baboons and the witty comedy of Sapolsky once the book is completed. The book is a tribute to the continent that held him in thrall, despite its troubles and extremes, and it is also an account of a young boy who is on the road to maturity (Zaleski, Abbott, Gold  Rotella, 2001).


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