Steve Silberman Oliver Sacks

RRP: £16.99

3 September 2015

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760113636

RRP: £8.99

1 January 2017

Published by Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781925575507

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.
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.

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.
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.

Stunning...a remarkable 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.

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.

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 fascinating reading" that "will change how you think of autism." No argument with that assessment.
Kirkus Reviews