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The "yesterday" and "today" implicit in the title are the few hundred years since the Industrial Revolution. Most of us forget that for more than 100,000 years, humankind lived in resilient hunter-gatherer societies that we ignore or dismiss unthinkingly as "primitive." Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel) has devoted decades of fieldwork to these traditional societies and he believes that understanding their practices can teach us much about lessons, both positive and negative, that remain pertinent today. A Barnes & Noble Bestseller worth keeping in mind.