NeuroTribesSteve Silberman Oliver Sacks
3 September 2015
Published by Allen & Unwin
1 January 2017
Published by Allen & Unwin
Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction
Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize
A Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller
Foreword by Oliver Sacks
What is autism: a devastating developmental condition, 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 casting light on the growing movement of ‘neurodiversity’ and mapping out a path towards a more humane world for people with learning differences.
Stunning... Highly original... Outstanding.
A sprawling and fascinating dissection of the role autism has played in shaping human history.
Whatever the future of autism...Mr Silberman has surely written the definitive book about its past.
A rich amalgam of social history and contemporary reportage.Ian Thomson
[An] epic history of autism.
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.
Brilliant and sparklingly humane.
NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman explores in fascinating, near-encyclopaedic depth how autism has evolved. It's a gripping narrative written with journalistic verve.
Deservedly won the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction... NeuroTribes is deeply felt... This work stands alongside Andrew Solomon's Far From the Tree.
Silberman is a skilled storyteller... [He] researches with scientific rigour... A powerful voice: NeuroTribes offers keen insight.
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.
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.
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.
Stunning...a remarkable narrative...one of the most fascinating accounts of autism I have ever read.Simon Baron-Cohen
Nothing short of a revelation... Sweeping and lovingly detailed.
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.
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.
The best book you can read to understand autism.
This is perhaps the most significant history of the discovery, changing conception and public reaction to autism we will see in a generation.
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.