Neurotribes, by Steve Silberman

Neurotribes, by Steve Silberman, read by William Hughes

Silberman explores the history of autism by weaving stories / case histories of autistic people in with stories of psychological and ideological leaps in the understanding of autism. He reveals a lot of details I didn’t know about researchers like Hans Asperger and the making of the movie Rainman. It was information that I was intrigued by, though I found his writing style to be a bit winding at times. In the end, I felt a little lost about what the thesis of Silberman’s book was – or if he had one at all. Before reading the book I expected to get a history of autism research with a lot of current information on the neurodiversity movement. But because there were so many stories of autistic people woven into the book, I didn’t really get what I expected. The information seemed a bit scattered. Not that I didn’t enjoy the book – I did. It was interesting reading about all those case histories – it gave the book a personal air. I just expected a more A-to-B-to-C historical account of the history of autism and the neurodiversity movement. 


12 thoughts on “Neurotribes, by Steve Silberman

  1. I became interested in this book when I saw so many reading it for the read-along in November. As someone who is a newer fan of nonfiction, I am a little intimidated by the thought of reading it, but I have decided to give it a try, maybe in 2017. The subject is certainly of interest to me.

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  2. I'm excited to hear your thoughts on this one! It was bit winding, but I think that's part of why I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed all the people stories. I finished reading feeling like the author had made a clear point though and I'm sure I'd have been more annoyed by the digressions if I felt differently about how clear he was.

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  3. Yeah, it's possible I just wasn't in the right mood? I was listening to it on audio, which I'm having a lot of trouble with lately for some reason. Attention issues. Maybe if I'd read it physically it would have been different.

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