From the Publisher
A Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title for 2008
"Travis-Henikoff covers the phenomenon's many raisons d'être, from survival to politically motivated terror. . . . The book's range is impressive. Highly recommended for public libraries." Library Journal
"A careful and scholarly look at cannibalism, filled with humor, history, and fascinating facts; a totally delectable delight to read." Ralph L. Holloway, professor of anthropology, Columbia University
"If we are to ultimately fashion a real image of ourselves, not as fallen angels but as risen apes, this book will serve as an essential step in that direction." Alan Mann, professor of anthropology, Princeton University
"Exceptionally well researched and beautifully written. Our notion of exotic food may never be the same." Alan Almquist, professor emeritus of anthropology, California State UniversityEast Bay
"Travis-Henikoff's lively and sometimes amusing anthropophagic romp shows that starvation and cultural patterns are often strong enough to counter moral taboos." College and Resource Library News
"Fascinating, fact and history-filled read that speaks to many of the societal problems we are facing today." Gary Sojka, professor of biology and former president, Bucknell University
"A fascinating history of the role cannibalism has played in the evolution of man." Alan R. Kahn, author, Mind Shapes: Understanding the Differences in Thinking and Communication
Those seeking tales of serial killers à la Hannibal Lecter will be disappointed in these books, as both authors favor in-depth examinations of cannibalism across a wide variety of cultures. Likewise, both discredit the conclusions of William Arens's The Man-Eating Myth, instead asserting that cannibalism has been a very real human practice around the globe. Travis-Henikoff (coauthor, Star Food Revisited), a scholar of paleoanthropology, covers the phenomenon's many raisons d'être, from survival to politically motivated terror. Her perspective as a gastronomist helps to situate cannibalism within a wide range of global culinary practices from the Amazon to the American Southwest to Polynesia. Some sections, e.g., those on archaeological dating and on the Inquisition, could have been shorter, but the book's range is impressive.
Raffaele (Smithsonian magazine) focuses on cannibalism in a few particular regions: New Guinea, the Ganges basin, Tonga, and Uganda. He meets with cannibals, the locals who condemn them, and descendents of other known cannibals. His beautiful descriptions of life among these cultures show that cannibalism is a local belief that, unlike the rapidly changing landscape, is still going strong in some places. Unlike Travis-Henikoff, Raffaele maintains that cannibalism not related to survival is an "evil" act, yet his portraits of cannibals show their essential humanity. Both books are highly recommended for public libraries; endnotes and a bibliography additionally recommend Travis-Henikoff.