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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

The audiobook edition of Behave by Robert Sapolsky, read by Michael Goldstrom.

The New York Times best seller.

Winner of the 2017 LA Times Book Prize.

Why do human beings behave as they do? 

We are capable of savage acts of violence but also spectacular feats of kindness: is one side of our nature destined to win out over the other?

Every act of human behaviour has multiple layers of causation, spiralling back seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, even centuries, right back to the dawn of time and the origins of our species. 

In the epic sweep of history, how does our biology affect the arc of war and peace, justice and persecution? How have our brains evolved alongside our cultures?

This is the exhilarating story of human morality and the science underpinning the biggest question of all: what makes us human?

©2018 Robert M Sapolsky (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Awe-inspiring...You will learn more about human nature than in any other book I can think of." (Henry Marsh)

"One of the best scientist-writers of our time." (Oliver Sacks)

What listeners say about Behave

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Slow to start but it all comes together

Don't miss this. If behaviour from nerves to hormones to genetics to environment excited you this book draws them all together. Although it starts slow it's worth the patience

15 people found this helpful

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great book, great narration!

I'm very impressed by the narration! It's not easy to remain entertaining and bubbly on a science book. The book itself is entertaining and bubbly overall but there are some passages that are more technical and still the narration is really easy to listen to. The content is absolutely fascinating!

7 people found this helpful

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Very informative

This book does justice to try at least partially to explain why, when or how we do what we do. There is quite a lot to take... And in the end it doesn't claim to provide with all of the answers, it tries and it makes lots of sense. A true science of real and complex world!

6 people found this helpful

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Interesting book but narration is truly dreadful

Difficult to pay attention to the actual content without getting distracted by the narrators annoying and inappropriate voice. Why didn’t Sapolsky himself just narrate it?!! He has a brilliant voice...

15 people found this helpful

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Too much detail

I bought it because it looked interesting and you got a lot of hours for your credit. I now realize this is not necessarily the best method of choosing something. It is just too long and goes into too much depth for the curious generalist, which makes it at times baffling, sometimes tedious and often both. There is some really interesting stuff in here but buried in an avalanche of information. Maybe it's more of a primer for students of the subject but for me it was just too much and took a fascinating subject and managed to make it dull.

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fascinating and educational

Though I have no scientific background, Sapolsky's style of introducing examples and related stories really kept me so engaged.
the voice performance is crystal clear.
Though this book isn't really a story, Sapolsky summarises previous perceptions and current understanding of neuroscience in a way that a complete layman like myself can understand and relate to.
I am actually ready for another listen to get a deeper understanding of the material!

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Utterly comprehensive.

This review requires at least fifteen words to submit, so here we are. Awesome Book.

3 people found this helpful

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Good for curious geeks who drive long distances.

I have been educated. I've read his work before, it's nice to have it read to you.

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A very accessible book on a very complex subject.

Robert Sapolsky writes in an engaging way, yet manages a thorough over view of current thinking on a very complex subject.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing book

This book was absolutely incredible. I read this a while ago now and feel I need to write a review for this seminal work. For those who are afraid this might be too technical or for neuroscientists, don't be afraid. At first I thought it was teaching stuff that I wouldn't be able to follow along with but it kept beautifully tieing the concepts back together exploring our behaviour from the here and now to the very far gone genetic causes. It explains it so well that everyone can get lots from it.

The ideas shown in this book through rigorous scientific evidence, I believe are so important for the world. The effects of us not having freewill and what that means for our justice systems and how we structure society as a whole as just one prefoundly important subject, not least to mention so many other fascinating facts about how the brain works and our behaviour. Robert Sapolsky is an amazing individual, and I believe he is an asset to mankind and very brave to touch on the subjects he does and for the betterment of mankind.

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  • Irene
  • 19-01-19

shame on Audible for bad delivery of a great book

The book is fantastic.
Embarrassing delivery by Audible. Chapter numbering is wrong. Appendices are noy listed separately. Does not work on Kindle app only on Audible app.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Seba76
  • 20-04-20

Revolutionary knowledge

when I finished it I thought, I want more. Professor Sapolsky offered on this book a broad and deep analysis of a variety topics that can affect behavior under determined conditions; genetics, epigenetics, environment, culture and so on. I highly recommend this piece of knowledge

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-07-21

a tomb of biological wonder

a must listen for anyone who is interested in humans, biology and behaviour full of wonderful research and prose