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Category: ANTHROPOLOGY

ANTHROPOLOGY

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    The scandalous rape of Ancient Egypt is a historical vignette of greed vanity and dedicated archaeological research. It is a tale vividly told by renowned archaeology author Brian Fagan with characters that include the ancient historian Herodotus; Theban tomb robbers; obelisk-stealing Romans; Coptic Christians determined to erase the heretical past; mummy traders; leisured antiquarians; major European museums; Giovanni Belzoni a circus strongman who removed more antiquities than Napoleon’s armies; shrewd consuls and ruthless pashas; and archaeologists such Sir Flinders Petrie who changed the course of Egyptology.This is the first thoroughly revised edition of The Rape of the Nile – Fagan’s classic account of the cavalcade of archaeologists thieves and sightseers who have flocked to the Nile Valley since ancient times. Featured in this edition are new accounts of stunning recent discoveries including the Royal Tombs of Tanis the Valley of Golden Mummies at Bahariya the Tomb of the Sons of Ramses and the sunken city of Alexandria (whose lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). Fagan concludes with a clear-eyed assessment of the impact of modern mass tourism on archaeological sites and artifacts.
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    An outbreak of a disease known as the “black vomit” prevents the English from strengthening their hold in “The New World” in the eighteenth century with huge repercussions; the untimely death of an emperor prevents Chinese and Portuguese explorers from meeting along the coast of West Africa in the fifteenth century; the most significant factor in the Spanish exploration of North America turns out not to be Spain's mighty armies or her unrivaled fleet but the lowly mosquito. In human history little things can make a big difference as Samuel Wilson demonstrates in The Emperor's Giraffe and Other Stories of Cultures in Contact.Focusing on individuals caught by chance in pivotal times and places Wilson explores the ways in which seemingly small decisions made during the initial “contact period” between two cultures have had a huge impact on the course of history. Many of the stories illustrate that despite thousands of years of isolation the states and empires of the Old World were remarkably similar in structure and organization to those of the Americas. And the course of events in these past societies was at least partially determined by decisions made by people very much like ourselves—armed with imperfect knowledge and fueled by personal agendas.More than anything else The Emperor's Giraffe shows that the consequences of these “contact periods” are still very much with us in some rather surprising ways. Who could have predicted that the British colonization of the West Indies would come to a symbolic end with a 1950 England–West Indies cricket match? Who would have guessed that centuries-old European folk tales would make their way to America and be brought back to Europe hundred of years later in the guise of Disney characters? Little known events with large consequences and remarkable characters fill these interesting informative and sometimes surprising essays.
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    One of the truly seminal works in modern cultural anthropology Five Families is a dramatic and forceful account of the men women and children of five Mexican families and the impoverished communities in which they live.
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    The “structural method” first set forth in this epoch-making book changed the very face of social anthropology. This reissue of a classic will reintroduce readers to Lévi-Strauss's understanding of man and society in terms of individuals—kinship social organization religion mythology and art.

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    The 1996 discovery near Kennewick Washington of a 9000-year-old Caucasoid skeleton brought more to the surface than bones. The explosive controversy and resulting lawsuit also raised a far more fundamental question: Who owns history? Many Indians see archeologists as desecrators of tribal rites and traditions; archeologists see their livelihoods and science threatened by the 1990 Federal reparation law which gives tribes control over remains in their traditional territories.In this new work Thomas charts the riveting story of this lawsuit the archeologists' deteriorating relations with American Indians and the rise of scientific archeology. His telling of the tale gains extra credence from his own reputation as a leader in building cooperation between the two sides.

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    In essays covering everything from art and common sense to charisma and constructions of the self the eminent cultural anthropologist and author of The Interpretation of Cultures deepens our understanding of human societies through the intimacies of “local knowledge.” A companion volume to The Interpretation of Cultures this book continues Geertz's exploration of the meaning of culture and the importance of shared cultural symbolism. With a new introduction by the author.
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    This book sets out the case for Hard Green a conservative environmental agenda. Modern environmentalism Peter Huber argues destroys the environment. Captured as it has been by the Soft Green oligarchy of scientists regulators and lawyers modern environmentalism does not conserve forests oceans lakes and streams – it hastens their destruction. For all its scientific pretension Soft Green is not green at all. Its effects are the opposites of green.This book lays out the alternative: a return to Yellowstone and the National Forests the original environmentalism of Theodore Roosevelt and the conservation movement. Chapter by chapter Hard Green takes on the big issues of environmental discourse from scarcity and pollution to efficiency and waste disposal. This is the Hard Green manifesto: Rediscover T.R. Reaffirm the conservationist ethic. Expose the Soft Green fallacy. Reverse the Soft Green agenda. Save the environment from the environmentalists.

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    Humanity evolved in an Ice Age in which glaciers covered much of the world. But starting about 15000 years ago temperatures began to climb. Civilization and all of recorded history occurred in this warm period the era known as the Holocene-the long summer of the human species. In The Long Summer Brian Fagan brings us the first detailed record of climate change during these 15000 years of warming and shows how this climate change gave rise to civilization. A thousand-year chill led people in the Near East to take up the cultivation of plant foods; a catastrophic flood drove settlers to inhabit Europe; the drying of the Sahara forced its inhabitants to live along the banks of the Nile; and increased rainfall in East Africa provoked the bubonic plague. The Long Summer illuminates for the first time the centuries-long pattern of human adaptation to the demands and challenges of an ever-changing climate-challenges that are still with us today.
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    A dissection of the Soviet Union’s legacy of health and environmental disaster this book examines a former country of 103 cities – home to 70 million people – where the air is unfit to breathe and pollution fouls 75 percent of the water.

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    Many of our questions about religion says renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer are no longer mysteries. We are beginning to know how to answer questions such as “Why do people have religion?” Using findings from anthropology cognitive science linguistics and evolutionary biology Religion Explained shows how this aspect of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent naturalistic explanation. This brilliant and controversial book gives readers the first scientific explanation for what religious feeling is really about what it consists of and where it comes from.

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    Sidney Borowitz presents a concise coherent narrative of the major sources of energy currently in use throughout the world and explains in a cogent jargon-free manner how these other sources of energy – nuclear solar photovoltaics biomass wind geothermal fusion hydrogen and other more exotic sources – can be developed. Borowitz places these nonfossil fuel sources in an economic and scientific context so that the case for conservation and growth is thoroughly grounded in reality. Because energy touches on practically every aspect of our daily lives this book presents a clear-eyed even-handed explication of optimal solutions to our future energy needs.
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  • WHEN SMOKE RAN LIKE WATER

    In When Smoke Ran Like Water the world-renowned epidemiologist Devra Davis confronts the public triumphs and private failures of her lifelong battle against environmental pollution. She documents the shocking toll of a public-health disaster-300000 deaths a year in the U.S. and Europe from the effects of pollution-and asks why we remain silent. For Davis the issue is personal: Pollution is what killed many in her family and forced some of the others survivors of the 1948 smog emergency in Donora Pennsylvania to live out their lives with impaired health. She describes that episode and also makes startling revelations about how the deaths from the London smog of 1952 were falsely attributed to influenza how the oil companies and auto manufacturers fought for decades to keep lead in gasoline while knowing it caused brain damage and many other battles. When Smoke Ran Like Water makes a devastating case for change.>

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  • THE EVOLUTION OF GOD

    In The Evolution of God, Robert Wright, award-winning author of the bestselling books Nonzero and The Moral Animal, takes us on a sweeping journey through religious history, from the Stone Age to the Information Age, unveiling along the way an astonishing discovery: that there is a hidden pattern in the way that Judaism, Christianity and Islam have all evolved.

    Through the prisms of archaeology, theology, evolutionary psychology and a careful re-reading of the scriptures, Wright’s findings repeatedly overturn conventional wisdom and basic assumptions about the great monotheistic faiths.

    Looking at the forces that have moved the Abrahamic faiths away from belligerence and intolerance to a higher moral plane, Wright finds that this previously unrecognized evolutionary logic points not toward continued religious extremism as the media would have us believe, but towards future harmony.

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  • FIRE IN THE TURTLE HOUSE

    Sea turtles have existed since the time of the dinosaurs. But now suddenly the turtles are dying ravaged by a mysterious plague that some biologists consider the most serious epidemic now raging in the natural world. Perhaps most important sea turtles aren’t the only marine creatures falling prey to deadly epidemics. Over the last few decades diseases have been burning through nearshore waters around the world with unprecedented lethality. What is happening to the sea turtle and how can it be stopped? In this fascinating scientific detective story Osha Gray Davidson tracks the fervent efforts of the extraordinary and often quirky scientists marine biologists veterinarians and others racing against the clock to unravel a complicated biological and environmental puzzle and keep the turtles from extinction. He follows the fates of particular turtles revealing their surprisingly distinct personalities and why they inspire an almost spiritual devotion in the humans who come to know them. He also explores through vivid historical anecdotes and examples the history of man’s relationship to the sea opening a window onto the role played by humans in the increasing number of marine die-offs and extinctions. Beautifully written intellectually provocative Fire in the Turtle House reveals how emerging diseases wreaking havoc in the global ocean pose an enormous direct threat to humanity. This is science journalism at its best.>

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