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Neurotribes The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently by Steve Silberman
  

Neurotribes The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently

The Real World   Popular Science   All Shortlists and Winners   

RRP £16.99

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Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015.

A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.

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Synopsis

Neurotribes The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently by Steve Silberman

Foreword by Oliver Sacks. What is autism: a devastating developmental disorder, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Following on from his groundbreaking article 'The Geek Syndrome', Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences have access to the resources they need to live happier and more meaningful lives. Along the way, he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger's syndrome, whose 'little professors' were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for fifty years; and casts light on the growing movement of 'neurodiversity' activists seeking respect, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences.

Reviews

Stunning... Highly original... Outstanding. * Spectator * A sprawling and fascinating dissection of the role autism has played in shaping human history. * Daily Telegraph * Whatever the future of autism...Mr Silberman has surely written the definitive book about its past. * The Economist * A rich amalgam of social history and contemporary reportage. -- Ian Thomson * Financial Times * [An] epic history of autism. * Sunday Telegraph * Ambitious, meticulous and largehearted... NeuroTribes is beautifully told, humanizing, important. * New York Times * Silberman's phenomenal book goes a long way to uncovering some of the myths about this particular tribe and is all for recognising their incredible talents and contributions to society. * The Sun * Brilliant and sparklingly humane. * Guardian * NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman explores in fascinating, near-encyclopaedic depth how autism has evolved. It's a gripping narrative written with journalistic verve. * Observer * Deservedly won the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction... NeuroTribes is deeply felt... This work stands alongside Andrew Solomon's Far From the Tree. * The Times * Silberman is a skilled storyteller... [He] researches with scientific rigour... A powerful voice: NeuroTribes offers keen insight. * New Statesman * Silberman's sweeping history is always sensitive and builds a persuasive argument that the ability to think differently is useful, necessary even, for the success of the modern world. * New Scientist * NeuroTribes is remarkable. Silberman has done something unique: he's taken the dense and detailed history of autism and turned the story into a genuine page-turner. The book is sure to stir considerable discussion. -- John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye A comprehensive history of the science and culture surrounding autism studies... An essential resource. * Nature magazine * A lively, readable book... To read NeuroTribes is to realize how much autistic people have enriched the scope of human knowledge and diversity, and how impoverished the world would be without them. * San Francisco Chronicle * Breathtaking... As emotionally resonant as any [book] this year. * The Boston Globe * It's a readable, engaging story. But it's also a serious political and sociological critique, couched in a 500-page-long piece of original historical scholarship. * Salon * Stunning...a remarkable narrative...one of the most fascinating accounts of autism I have ever read. -- Simon Baron-Cohen * The Lancet * Nothing short of a revelation... Sweeping and lovingly detailed. * Parent.co * The monks who inscribed beautiful manuscripts during the Middle Ages, Cavendish an 18th century scientist who explained electricity, and many of the geeks in Silicon Valley are all on the autism spectrum. Silberman reviews the history of autism treatments from horrible blaming of parents to the modern positive neurodiversity movement. Essential reading for anyone interested in psychology. -- Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain It is a beautifully written and thoughtfully crafted book, a historical tour of autism, richly populated with fascinating and engaging characters, and a rallying call to respect difference. * Science magazine * Epic and often shocking... Everyone with an interest in the history of science and medicine - how it has failed us, surprised us and benefited us - should read this book. * Chicago Tribune * The best book you can read to understand autism. * Gizmodo * This is perhaps the most significant history of the discovery, changing conception and public reaction to autism we will see in a generation. * TASH.org * A well-researched, readable report on the treatment of autism that explores its history and proposes significant changes for its future... In the foreword, Oliver Sacks writes that this sweeping and penetrating history...is fascinating reading that will change how you think of autism. No argument with that assessment. * Kirkus Reviews *


About the Author

Steve Silberman is an award-winning investigative reporter and has covered science and cultural affairs for Wired and other national magazines for more than twenty years. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, TIME, Nature and Salon.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd September 2015

Author

Steve Silberman

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    recommendations

Publisher

Allen & Unwin

Format

Paperback
544 pages

Categories

The Real World
Popular Science
All Shortlists and Winners

Abnormal psychology
Autism & AspergerÍs Syndrome
Disability: social aspects

ISBN

9781760113636

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