Collection of Essays by Robert M. Sapolsky

The Trouble with Testosterone and Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament - Robert M. Sapolsky

Robert Sapolsky is a Professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and by courtesy, Neurosurgery, at Stanford University, and his main focus is studying primates and how us humans relate to them. 


This is a collection of well-written, candid, humorous and interesting essays about the biology of human culture and behavior, the evolution of biology, and the social and political implications of these biological findings.  Each essay contains interesting information (and some personal anecdotes) on the brain, behavior, biology, and environment.  The book is easily understood by the non-scientist but not simplified so much that the scientists will want to rip their hair out.  Each essay is concluded with a reference section for those who want more detailed information on that specific subject.  The book is only slightly dated, as research has progressed and new information has emerged on certain subjects since its publication, but the vast majority is still valid.   

My favourite story is probably “Junk Food Monkeys” in which Sapolsky relates the adventures of a troop of baboons in Kenya who stumble upon a tourist garbage dump.   The essay on the relationship between schizotypal behaviour, OCD and religion (shamanism and institutionalized religions) is also very interesting.