Affluence Without Abundance

The Disappearing World of the Bushmen
Author: James Suzman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1632865742
Category: Social Science
Page: 320
View: 5762

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A vibrant portrait of the "original affluent society†?--the Bushmen of southern Africa--by the anthropologist who has spent much of the last twenty-five years documenting their encounter with modernity. If the success of a civilization is measured by its endurance over time, then the Bushmen of the Kalahari are by far the most successful in human history. A hunting and gathering people who made a good living by working only as much as needed to exist in harmony with their hostile desert environment, the Bushmen have lived in southern Africa since the evolution of our species nearly two hundred thousand years ago. In Affluence Without Abundance, anthropologist James Suzman vividly brings to life a proud and private people, introducing unforgettable members of their tribe, and telling the story of the collision between the modern global economy and the oldest hunting and gathering society on earth. In rendering an intimate picture of a people coping with radical change, it asks profound questions about how we now think about matters such as work, wealth, equality, contentment, and even time. Not since Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's The Harmless People in 1959 has anyone provided a more intimate or insightful account of the Bushmen or of what we might learn about ourselves from our shared history as hunter-gatherers.

Affluence Without Abundance

The Disappearing World of the Bushmen
Author: James Suzman
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 9781632865724
Category: Social Science
Page: 288
View: 1388

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A vibrant portrait of the “original affluent society”--the Bushmen of southern Africa--by the anthropologist who has spent the better part of the last twenty-five years documenting their encounter with modernity. If the success of a civilization is measured by its endurance over time, then the Bushmen of the Kalahari are by far the most successful in human history. A hunting and gathering people who made a good living by working only as much as needed to exist in harmony with their hostile desert environment, the Bushmen have lived in southern Africa since the evolution of our species nearly two hundred thousand years ago. In Affluence Without Abundance, anthropologist James Suzman asks whether understanding how hunter-gatherers like the Bushmen found contentment by having few needs easily met might help us address some of the environmental and economic challenges we face today. Vividly bringing to life a proud and private people, introducing unforgettable members of their tribe,Affluence Without Abundancetells the story of the collision between the modern global economy and the oldest hunting and gathering society on earth. In rendering an intimate picture of a people coping with radical change, it asks profound questions about how we now think about matters such as work, wealth, equality, contentment, and even time. Not since Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’sThe Harmless People in 1959 has anyone provided a more intimate or insightful account of the Bushmen or of what we might learn about ourselves from our shared history as hunter-gatherers.

The Harmless People


Author: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307772950
Category: Social Science
Page: 336
View: 9462

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A study of primitive people which, for beauty of...style and concept, would be hard to match." -- The New York Times Book Review In the 1950s Elizabeth Marshall Thomas became one of the first Westerners to live with the Bushmen of the Kalahari desert in Botswana and South-West Africa. Her account of these nomadic hunter-gatherers, whose way of life had remained unchanged for thousands of years, is a ground-breaking work of anthropology, remarkable not only for its scholarship but for its novelistic grasp of character. On the basis of field trips in the 1980s, Thomas has now updated her book to show what happened to the Bushmen as the tide of industrial civilization -- with its flotsam of property rights, wage labor, and alcohol -- swept over them. The result is a powerful, elegiac look at an endangered culture as well as a provocative critique of our own. "The charm of this book is that the author can so truly convey the strangeness of the desert life in which we perceive human traits as familiar as our own....The Harmless People is a model of exposition: the style very simple and precise, perfectly suited to the neat, even fastidious activities of a people who must make their world out of next to nothing." -- The Atlantic From the Trade Paperback edition.

Stone Age Economics


Author: Marshall Sahlins
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1351732692
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 376
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Since its first publication over forty years ago Marshall Sahlins's Stone Age Economics has established itself as a classic of modern anthropology and arguably one of the founding works of anthropological economics. Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, Sahlins radically revises traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original "affluent society." Sahlins examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. A radical study of tribal economies, domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large, Stone Age Economics regards the economy as a category of culture rather than behaviour, in a class with politics and religion rather than rationality or prudence. Sahlins concludes, controversially, that the experiences of those living in subsistence economies may actually have been better, healthier and more fulfilled than the millions enjoying the affluence and luxury afforded by the economics of modern industrialisation and agriculture. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by David Graeber, London School of Economics.

Tricksters and Trancers

Bushman Religion and Society
Author: Mathias Georg Guenther
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253213440
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 1446

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"... a first-rate piece of scholarship... an invaluable summary and commentary on the multilingual literature on [Bushman] people." —Choice The trickster and trance dancer are the guides through Bushman (or San) religion, a world of ambiguity and contradiction, and of enchantment. The two figures, who in Bushman belief are symbolically equivalent and mystically linked, embody these antistructural traits.

Against the Grain

A Deep History of the Earliest States
Author: James C. Scott
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300231687
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 2298

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An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today’s states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family—all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.

Against the Grain

How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization
Author: Richard Manning
Publisher: North Point Press
ISBN: 1466823429
Category: Nature
Page: 240
View: 2077

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In this provocative, wide-ranging book, Against the Grain, Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution, beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment. For 290,000 years, we managed to meet that need as hunter-gatherers, a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human: at our smartest, strongest, most sensually alive. But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive, and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past 10,000 years. The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments, however, and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature's. Drawing on the work of anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists, and philosophers, along with his own travels, he argues that not only our ecological ills-overpopulation, erosion, pollution-but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil's bargain we made in our not-so-distant past. And he offers personal, achievable ways we might re-contour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet's.

The Fear Factor

How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between
Author: Abigail Marsh
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 1541697200
Category: Psychology
Page: 320
View: 3674

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How the brains of psychopaths and heroes show that humans are wired to be good At fourteen, Amber could boast of killing her guinea pig, threatening to burn down her home, and seducing men in exchange for gifts. She used the tools she had available to get what she wanted, like all children. But unlike other children, she didn't care about the damage she inflicted. A few miles away, Lenny Skutnik cared so much about others that he jumped into an ice-cold river to save a drowning woman. What is responsible for the extremes of generosity and cruelty humans are capable of? By putting psychopathic children and extreme altruists in an fMRI, acclaimed psychologist Abigail Marsh found that the answer lies in how our brain responds to others' fear. While the brain's amygdala makes most of us hardwired for good, its variations can explain heroic and psychopathic behavior. A path-breaking read, The Fear Factor is essential for anyone seeking to understand the heights and depths of human nature. "A riveting ride through your own brain."--Adam Grant "You won't be able to put it down."--Daniel Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness "[It] reads like a thriller... One of the most mind-opening books I have read in years." --Matthieu Ricard, Author of Altruism

The Way of the Hare


Author: Marianne Taylor
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472909909
Category: Nature
Page: 288
View: 7483

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To the people of rural Britain, hares are deeply beloved, perhaps above all other animals. They thrive in abundance in imagery but can be maddeningly elusive in reality. In our stories – ancient and modern – they are magical, uncanny and illogical beings which commune with the moon, vanish at will, and lose their minds when spring arrives. Yet despite the breadth and depth of its legends, the brown hare of the lowlands is a relative newcomer to our islands, and our 'real' ancient hare is the mountain hare of the most unforgiving high mountainsides. Hares of myth have godly powers, but real, earthbound hares walk a dangerous line – they are small animals with many predators but have no burrow or tunnel to shelter them from danger. They survive by a combination of two skills honed to unimaginable extremes – hiding in plain sight, and running faster than anything and anyone. The need to excel as hiders and runners ultimately directs every aspect of hare biology and behaviour, as well as inspiring our own wild ideas about hare-kind. This book explores hares as they are and as we imagine them, and the long and often bloody history of our association with these enigmatic animals. Elegant studies of molecular biology and biomechanical physics help us understand how hares are put together, while centuries of game estate records reveal how humans have commodified and exploited them. But it is ultimately the moments spent in the company of wild hares that allow us to bring together myth and reality to celebrate the magic of the living animal.

Twenty Chickens For A Saddle

The Story of an African Childhood
Author: Robyn Scott
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408842912
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 288
View: 5275

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When Robyn Scott was six years old her parents abruptly exchanged the tranquil pastures of New Zealand for a converted cowshed in the wilds of Botswana. Once there, Robyn and her siblings, mostly left to amuse themselves, grew up collecting snakes, canoeing with crocodiles and breaking in horses in the veld. In the shadow of one of Africa's worst AIDS crises, this moving, enchanting memoir is an extraordinary portrait of an unforgettable childhood.

Crossing Between Worlds

The Navajo of Canyon de Chelly, Second Edition
Author: Jeanne M. Simonelli
Publisher: Waveland Press
ISBN: 1478610239
Category: Social Science
Page: 138
View: 6962

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The Navajo people of Canyon de Chelly must negotiate a delicate balance between the old and the new as they struggle to maintain their traditional ways of life in the midst of archaeologists, U.S. Park Service employees, and the increasing numbers of tourists who come to visit this hauntingly beautiful part of northeastern Arizona. Anthropologist-writer Jeanne Simonelli, who worked at Canyon de Chelly as a seasonal park ranger, interweaves stories of her personal experiences and friendships with canyon residents with discussions of native history and culture in the region. Focusing on the members of one extended Navajo family, Simonelli describes the small moments of their daily lives: shearing goats, baking bread, attending a solemn all-night health ceremony, washing clothes at the local laundromat, playing traditional games and contemporary sports, talking about the history of the Dinthe Navajo peopleand pondering the changes they have witnessed in the canyon and the difficulties they confront. Crossing Between Worlds is sumptuously illustrated with insightful black-and-white photographs that document the everyday activities of Navajo families in one of the most spectacular corners of the American Southwest.

Way of the Bushman

Spiritual Teachings and Practices of the Kalahari Ju/’hoansi
Author: Bradford Keeney,Hillary Keeney
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1591437849
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Page: 256
View: 3899

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The first comprehensive presentation of the core teachings of the Kalahari Bushmen as told by the Tribal Elders • Reveals how the Bushmen are able to receive direct transmissions of God’s love for healing and spiritual transformation • Explores tribal legends and teaching tales, the importance of dreams and animals, and the origins of their dances, rituals, and ceremonies Step into the imaginative realm of one of the oldest continuous cultures on Earth, the Kalahari Ju/’hoansi Bushmen. Translated by Beesa Boo, a Bushman, and interspersed with detailed commentary from Bradford and Hillary Keeney, this book presents the core teachings of the Kalahari Bushmen as told by the tribal elders themselves. Decades in the making, it constitutes the first comprehensive work on the world’s oldest tradition of healing and spiritual experience. Told in their own words, these teachings reveal how the Bushmen are able to receive direct transmissions of God’s love in the form of the universal life force, n/om. The individuals who are filled with this force describe it as an awakened, energized feeling of love that inspires a spontaneous and heightened ecstatic awareness that opens mystical perception. Having your heart transfixed by this force enables true healing and spiritual growth to occur. Experiencing the force in your entire being, through a vision of “God’s egg”, awakens deep spiritual wisdom and extraordinary healing gifts. Those who “own the egg” are blessed with the ability to have direct communication with the Divine, a “rope to God,” and can communicate with others for all “ropes” are connected. Conveying the deep love that is the dominant emotion of Bushman spirituality, the book explores tribal legends and teaching tales, the importance of dreams and encounters with animals, the origins of their dances, such as the giraffe dance, and specific rituals and ceremonies, including puberty rites for boys and girls. “As the elder teachers of the Ju’/hoan Bushman (San) people, we hold the most enduring traditional wisdom concerning healing and spiritual experience. This book is a testimony of our ecstatic ways. We happily share our basic teachings about spirituality and healing with those whose hearts are sincerely open.”

Botswana Time


Author: Will Randall
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0748113673
Category: Travel
Page: 288
View: 7261

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Will Randall travels with a purpose, as well as an outrageous sense of fortune. In INDIAN SUMMER he found himself, by chance, having the extraordinary experience of helping slum schoolchildren put on a play to help save their school. In Botswana he was taken up by a headmaster to teach a class of six year olds at The River of Life school. They are football crazy and one of Will's jobs is to take them to play neighbouring (sometimes as much as 100 miles away) schools. Camping en-route or staying in farms and rural villages, often travelling by foot or dug-out punts, thousands of antelope, elephant, buffalo and zebra follow their progress. The sound of lions, leopards and hyenas become the soundtrack of their dreams. Against all the odds they find themselves preparing for the Grand Final of the season - the titanic clash with arch rivals, Victoria Falls Primary school. Both an endearing personal story and a travel book about a little-known but highly successful country, BOTSWANA TIME will win new fans for both Will Randall and the extraordinary country of Botswana.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies


Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393609294
Category: History
Page: 528
View: 8139

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"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."—Bill Gates In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

Tsodilo Hills

Copper Bracelet of the Kalahari
Author: Alec C. Campbell
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780870138584
Category: History
Page: 179
View: 8878

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Tsodilo Hillsis a richly illustrated account one of the world's oldest and most beautiful historical sites: For 100,000 years, inhabitants of Botswana's Tsodilo Hills region left behind a record of their gathering wild foods, hunting, fishing, mining, rock painting, cattle herding, and metalworking, as well as of their participation in a coast-to-coast trade network. During the past 30 years, archaeologists, paleontologists, historians, and anthropologists have worked at Tsodilo. Here is the Tsodilo story, the Hills' revelations brought together in one volume, beautifully illuminated by more than 150 color plates and maps. For scientists, this work brings together decades of research at a site in the Kalahari that was virtually unknown until the late 1970s. Tsodilo Hillsalso offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Kalahari Desert to the general reader, as well as an unsurpassedguide to an extraordinary world to the desert's many tourists.

The Bushmen Of Southern Africa


Author: Sandy Gall
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1409002721
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 5129

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Bushmen were hunting and gathering, painting and mining copper, thousands of years ago. They were the first people of Africa. Deadly shots with their bows and arrows, they were, in their heyday, Lords of the Desert. They fought extremely bravely for their land, and lost. Today, they have been reduced to an underclass - dispossessed, despised and degraded. Just in time - one is tempted to say, miraculously - the Mandela government saved them from extermination in South Africa. Now, in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve, set aside specially for them by the British in 1961, they are making their last stand, refusing to be evicted in order to benefit mining and tourism. Sandy Gall, who is best known for his reporting of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, has taken up the cause of the Bushmen. His interest in their plight dates back to the 1950s and 1960s when he was working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters; in 1999 he visited the Central Kalahari with his daughter Michaela. His book celebrates the culture of these unique people, many of whom have an almost mystical bond with animals. He has portrayed many fascinating individuals who have been involved, for good or ill, in their tragic history and their present predicament. Here, for the first time, is the full story of the slaughter of an innocent people. The Bushmen of Southern Africa speaks not only for the Bushmen but for the native indigenous people of the world. It faces up to a shameful and bloodstained past and looks at burning current issues such as human rights and the ownership and exploitation of land.

Ants Among Elephants

An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India
Author: Sujatha Gidla
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374711380
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 532

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A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2017 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017 A Shelf Awareness Best Book of 2017 "Ants Among Elephants is an arresting, affecting and ultimately enlightening memoir. It is quite possibly the most striking work of non-fiction set in India since Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, and heralds the arrival of a formidable new writer." —The Economist The stunning true story of an untouchable family who become teachers, and one, a poet and revolutionary Like one in six people in India, Sujatha Gidla was born an untouchable. While most untouchables are illiterate, her family was educated by Canadian missionaries in the 1930s, making it possible for Gidla to attend elite schools and move to America at the age of twenty-six. It was only then that she saw how extraordinary—and yet how typical—her family history truly was. Her mother, Manjula, and uncles Satyam and Carey were born in the last days of British colonial rule. They grew up in a world marked by poverty and injustice, but also full of possibility. In the slums where they lived, everyone had a political side, and rallies, agitations, and arrests were commonplace. The Independence movement promised freedom. Yet for untouchables and other poor and working people, little changed. Satyam, the eldest, switched allegiance to the Communist Party. Gidla recounts his incredible transformation from student and labor organizer to famous poet and founder of a left-wing guerrilla movement. And Gidla charts her mother’s battles with caste and women’s oppression. Page by page, Gidla takes us into a complicated, close-knit family as they desperately strive for a decent life and a more just society. A moving portrait of love, hardship, and struggle, Ants Among Elephants is also that rare thing: a personal history of modern India told from the bottom up.

The Old Way

A Story of the First People
Author: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
ISBN: 9781429954518
Category: Social Science
Page: 368
View: 5184

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One of our most influential anthropologists reevaluates her long and illustrious career by returning to her roots—and the roots of life as we know it When Elizabeth Marshall Thomas first arrived in Africa to live among the Kalahari San, or bushmen, it was 1950, she was nineteen years old, and these last surviving hunter-gatherers were living as humans had lived for 15,000 centuries. Thomas wound up writing about their world in a seminal work, The Harmless People (1959). It has never gone out of print. Back then, this was uncharted territory and little was known about our human origins. Today, our beginnings are better understood. And after a lifetime of interest in the bushmen, Thomas has come to see that their lifestyle reveals great, hidden truths about human evolution. As she displayed in her bestseller, The Hidden Life of Dogs, Thomas has a rare gift for giving voice to the voices we don't usually listen to, and helps us see the path that we have taken in our human journey. In The Old Way, she shows how the skills and customs of the hunter-gatherer share much in common with the survival tactics of our animal predecessors. And since it is "knowledge, not objects, that endure" over time, Thomas vividly brings us to see how linked we are to our origins in the animal kingdom. The Old Way is a rare and remarkable achievement, sure to stir up controversy, and worthy of celebration.

Beyond Words

What Animals Think and Feel
Author: Carl Safina
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0805098887
Category: Nature
Page: 480
View: 5602

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In a world where we usually measure animals by human standards, prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina takes us inside their lives and minds, witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought and emotion, showing why the word "it" is often inappropriate as we discover who they really are. Weaving decades of observations of actual families of free-living creatures with new discoveries about brain functioning, Carl Safina's narrative breaches many commonly held boundaries between humans and other animals. InBeyond Words, readers travel the wilds of Africa to visit some of the last great elephant gatherings, then follow wolves of Yellowstone National Park sort out the aftermath of their personal tragedy, then plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in waters of the Pacific Northwest. We spend quality time, too, with dogs and falcons and ravens; and consider how the human mind originated. In his wise and passionate new book, Safina delivers a graceful examination of how animals truly think and feel, which calls to question what really does—and what should—make us human.