Noble Savages My Life among Two Dangerous Tribes -- the Yanomamo and the Anthropologists
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"One of history's greatest anthropologists--and a rip-roaring storyteller--recounts his life with an endangered Amazonian tribe and the mind-boggling controversies his work ignited" (Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature).When Napoleon Chagnon arrived in Venezuela's Amazon region in 1964 to study the Yanomamö Indians, one of the last large tribal groups still living in isolation, he discovered a remarkably violent society. Men who killed others had the most wives and offspring, their violence possibly giving them an evolutionary advantage. The prime reasons for violence, Chagnon found, were to avenge deaths and abduct women. When Chagnon began publishing his observations, some cultural anthropologists who could not accept an evolutionary basis for human behavior refused to believe them. A scathing attack--which was quickly disproven--accused him of starting a measles epidemic among the Yanomamö, and the American Anthropological Association condemned him, only to rescind its condemnation after a vote by the membership. Thus Chagnon became perhaps the most famous American anthropologist since Margaret Mead--and the most controversial. In Noble Savages, Chagnon describes his seminal fieldwork--during which he lived among the Yanomamö, was threatened by tyrannical headmen, and experienced an uncomfortably close encounter with a jaguar--taking readers inside Yanomamö villages to glimpse the kind of life our distant ancestors may have lived thousands of years ago. And he forcefully indicts his discipline of cultural anthropology, accusing it of having traded its scientific mission for political activism. Praised as "a beautifully written adventure story" (The New York Times) and "one of the most interesting anthropology books I have ever read" (Charles C. Mann, The Wall Street Journal), Noble Savages is an important and timely scientific memoir that raises fundamental questions about human nature itself.
List price: $22.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/18/2014
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.50" tall
Napoleon A. Chagnon is a contributor for the following Houghton Mifflin Company Title: Yanomamo