Can anyone recommend some good books on Anthropology?

Im looking for a good book about anthropology, like Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. It could biological or cultural.

Anyone have some favorites to recommend?

Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond is a ***good *** book on anthropology? :eek:

*Yes, * it is! :smiley:

I’ve enjoyed Marvin Harris’s books - Wars Pigs Cows & Witches comes to mind, and Our Kind. How his work is currently regarded, I don’t know, I’m ashamed to say. I have also enjoyed Sarah Hrdy (that’s not a typo). Elaine Morgan, although I don’t think she is an actual anthropologist. (I was interested in human evolution pertaining to women’s sexuality.)

Pop anth: I loves me some Margaret Visser .

Are you interested in physical anthropology? Cultural?

Oops, a re-read indicates cultural.

Humans are some interesting creatures indeed. If you see a book called “The Anthroplogy of Eating”, that was fascinating to me.

I’m a big fan of Harris’, too. He’s abn excellent popularizer. What some pweople won’t like is that he espouses his own theory of anthropology – Cultural Materialism – that’s radically different from others, such as the Structuralism of Claude Levi-Strauss. I like CM, so I recommend his stuff. Besides the aforementioned Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches and ** Our Kind**, try Good to Eat (aka The Sacred Cow and the Abopminable Pig, Cannibals and Kings and, if you want to get serious Cultural Materialisdm.
Older stuff regarded as classic is Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture Bernard Malinowski’s books. Margaret Mead’s books, especially Coming of Age in Samoa were good reads, but I understand there’s been a serious challenge to her accuiracy in that one.

Ditto the Marvin Harris. I’d recommend starting with Our Kind, if only because it touches on so many different topics.

Some of the classic Anthropology 101 books make for some great reading. Try:

[li] Lucy, by Donald Johansen, for your physical anthropology fix[/li][li] The Yanomamo, by Napoleon Chagnon[/li][li] The Forest People, by Colin Turnbill[/li][li] The Mountain People, Colin Turnbill[/li][/ul]

With a warning that some of these books are riveting but not exactly uplifting.

If you get through those and want something meatier, Roy Rappaport’s Pigs for the Ancestors is great – kind of a bridge between Marvin Harris’s theories and Cultural Ecology that’s more in vogue.

I can’t think of recommendations for linguistics or archaeology off the top of my head.

The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis is an excellent book and has almost NOTHING to do with the film. NPR did several interviews with him that are fascinating to listen to. He’s spent years studying voodoo, shamen, and pharmacutical plants all over the world. (He described one drug’s effects like being shot out the barrel of a cannon lined with baroque paintings.)

Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Eskimos
I honestly don’t know how good it is compared to other books, but it is just about the only anthropology book I can name off hand.

And somebody has to mention Campbell(sp?)'s Hero of 1000 faces.


If only to tell people to avoid it.

Well, it’s entertaining, in a “boy he pulls that all together in a neat way that sounds convincing if you don’t really know all that much about the stories,” but if you are looking for scholarship, go elsewhere.