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Anasazi America: Seventeen Centuries on the Road from Center Place

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2000

    Excellent book!

    Great book! I highly recommend it. The last chapter is especially thought provoking when Stuart compares the past with contemporary America. Must read for policy wonks and any American who cares about the direction of the country and how we change it for the better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2000

    More than an anthropology book!

    Take a ride along any major new road in your area and observe the width and scope of this grand exercise in road engineering and construction. Do the same for any new public buildings being built nearby. Then come home and curl up in a comfy chair with a copy of Anasazi America, anthropologist David Stuart's epic story of the generations of Pueblo people who have lived in the Four Corners area over the past 10,000 years. Dr. Stuart tells the Pueblo people's saga from hunting and gathering beginnings, through the advent of agriculture and evolution to Chacoan agribusiness, to the bold Chaco Phenomenon that resulted in the monumental infrastructure of magnificent public buildings and wide roads, grand religious rituals and an extensive trading network and market based economy. He then describes the growth of the population, followed by periods of drought and climate change which resulted in malnutrition and other public health problems. He goes on to trace a stratification of society that widened the gulf between the privileged elites and the working class people and the decisions to direct the efforts of the people to building the massive public infrastructure at the expense of basic needs such as the growing of food. The culmination of these factors finally resulted in the collapse of this great society. During the centuries that followed the collapse of the Chacoan empire, the Puebloan people survived the resulting chaos and were able to build successful communities through a strategy based on efficiency rather than power. The story then shifts to the present and in one incredible and profound chapter, Stuart suggests that there are many parallels between America in the 21st century and the late Chacoan era that may foretell events in our future. This is a very important book that should be widely read. It should be read by New Mexicans because it has much to teach us about ourselves. It should be read by all Americans because it gives us a glimpse of the challenges that are on the horizon and suggests the broad changes Americans will need to make if we are to survive another millennium.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

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