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Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity Hardcover – 25 August 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 974 ratings

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Product details

  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 544 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 158333467X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1583334676
  • Customer reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 974 ratings

Product description


Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction

Ambitious, meticulous and largehearted history...NeuroTribes is beautifully told, humanizing, important.
--The New York Times Book Review

Mr. Silberman has surely written the definitive book about [autism's] past.
-The Economist

"A comprehensive history of the science and culture surrounding autism studies...an essential resource." -Nature magazine

"NeuroTribes is a sweeping and penetrating history, presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity. It is fascinating reading; it will change how you think of autism, and it belongs, alongside the works of Temple Grandin and Clara Claiborne Park, on the bookshelf of anyone interested in autism and the workings of the human brain."
--From the foreword by Oliver Sacks, author of An Anthropologist On Mars and Awakenings

"Breathtaking... as emotionally resonant as any [book] this year. -The Boston Globe

"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." -The San Francisco Chronicle

"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

"Required reading for every parent, teacher, therapist, and person who wants to know more about autism" -Parents.com

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

"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

"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, Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at The College of William & Mary and author of Look Me in the Eye

"This gripping and heroic tale is a brilliant addition to the history of autism."
--Uta Frith, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at University College London

"In this genuine page-turner, Steve Silberman reveals the untold history of autism: from persecution to parent-blaming, from Rain Man to vaccines, of doctors for whom professional ego trumped compassion, to forgotten heroes like Hans Asperger, unfairly tainted by Nazi links. It ends on an optimistic note, with 'autistics' reclaiming the narrative and defining autism in their terms -- more difference than disability and an essential part of the human condition. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in autism or Asperger's, or simply a fascination with what makes us tick."
--Benison O'Reilly, co-author of The Australian Autism Handbook

About the Author

Steve Silberman 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. He lives in San Francisco.

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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 528 reviews
E. Human
4.0 out of 5 stars Hope it's widely read, wish it went even further
6 September 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
241 people found this helpful
Blue Orchid
5.0 out of 5 stars I am an Autistic Adult and I Have an Autistic Child - We Both Thank Silberman Immensely for Shedding This Light
10 February 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars I am an Autistic Adult and I Have an Autistic Child - We Both Thank Silberman Immensely for Shedding This Light
Reviewed in the United States on 10 February 2016
I pre-ordered this book, and I'm so glad I did! I don't often talk to others about the autism books I read, mostly because NT's don't seek the same answers those of us on the spectrum seek. But this one masterpiece that Silberman has put together is the biggest of exceptions. He basically said what I've been theorizing all along, and seeing all the work and research put into finding some answers put into this one book gave me a more hopeful outlook on my life and the future of my son's life. He is also on the autism spectrum. We've come so far in our understanding of neurodiversity, but there is still much work to be done. Silberman has opened a door to a different and better approach to embracing and accommodating those who think differently.
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76 people found this helpful
Ann Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars and I found this book amazing on several levels
6 September 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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60 people found this helpful
Alexander Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars A much needed reminder that autistic people can thrive
8 April 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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24 people found this helpful