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Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures
     

Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures

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by Marvin Harris
 

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In this brilliant and profound study the distinguished American anthropologist Marvin Harris shows how the endless varieties of cultural behavior — often so puzzling at first glance — can be explained as adaptations to particular ecological conditions. His aim is to account for the evolution of cultural forms as Darwin accounted for the evolution of

Overview

In this brilliant and profound study the distinguished American anthropologist Marvin Harris shows how the endless varieties of cultural behavior — often so puzzling at first glance — can be explained as adaptations to particular ecological conditions. His aim is to account for the evolution of cultural forms as Darwin accounted for the evolution of biological forms: to show how cultures adopt their characteristic forms in response to changing ecological modes.

"[A] magisterial interpretation of the rise and fall of human cultures and societies."

— Robert Lekachman, Washington Post Book World

"Its persuasive arguments asserting the primacy of cultural rather than genetic or psychological factors in human life deserve the widest possible audience."

— Gloria Levitas The New Leader

"[An] original and...urgent theory about the nature of man and at the reason that human cultures take so many diverse shapes."

— The New Yorker

"Lively and controversial."

— I. Bernard Cohen, front page, The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679728498
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/1991
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
542,929
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Marvin Harris taught at Columbia University from 1953 and from 1963 to 1966 was Chairman of the Department of Anthropology.  He has lectured by invitation at most of the major colleges and universities in the United States. In addition to field work in Brazil, Mozambique, and Ecuador on the subjects of cross-cultural aspects of race and ethinic relations, the effects of colonialism, and problems of underdevelopment seen in ecological perspective, Harris pioneered in the use of videotape techniques in the study of family life in this country.

Author of several books, among them the influential Rise of Anthropological Theory: A History of Theories of Culture and the popoular undergraduate text Culture, Man and Nature: An Introduction to General Anthropology, Harris wrote frequently for Natural History magazine and was a frequent contributor to the professional journals, American Anthropologist and Current Anthropology.  His others books inlcude Cannibals and Kings and Cultural Materialism.

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Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kyle3 More than 1 year ago
excellent objective text on how human nature has shaped the fate of the earth and human society. fascinating and comprehensive. critical conflict theorists will enjoy the skill with which he supports his assertions without ignoring the phenomenological influence of the human condition.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a recommendation from a friend who commands tremendous respect from me. This is a perfect book for someone who has never really tried to look at our social setup the way anthropologists describe its evolution. It also puts into prespective on the 'amount of control(or the lack of it)' we humans exercise in choosing our collective behaviour.