O's Top 20 Books to Read This Summer
The must-reads that'll take you straight through to Labor Day.
15 of 20
Why do we hate? Why do we kill? Why do we love? The neuroscientist, primatologist and MacArthur fellow sets out to make sense of such big-picture questions in this wide-ranging look at "the virtuosity with which we humans harm or care for one another." Plumbing the nature of our decision-making, our twisted obsession with violence and the science behind empathy, Sapolsky aims to do nothing less than penetrate the human condition. But while he's ambitious enough to investigate everything from whether murderers control their own actions to the neurological response that occurs when we stub a toe, Sapolsky is surprisingly sensitive to the preposterous vastness of his project: "Biology, the Criminal Justice System, and (Oh, Why Not?) Free Will," is the title of the penultimate chapter. It's this wink that will captivate sciencey left-brainers and artsy right-brainers alike.