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9780684855103

Noble Savages My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes -- the Yanomamo and the Anthropologists

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780684855103

  • ISBN10:

    0684855100

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-02-19
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Purchase Benefits
List Price: $32.50

Summary

The most controversial and famous anthropologist of our time describes his seminal lifelong research among the YanomamÖ Indians of the Amazon basin and how his startling observations provoked admiration among many fellow anthropologists and outrage among others. Napoleon Chagnon began his research on the YanomamÖ in 1964, ultimately spending the equivalent of five years among them, one of the last isolated large tribal groups still living in conditions found at the beginning of the agricultural revolution. His groundbreaking bestselling book YanomamÖmade Chagnon a household name among students of anthropology. Rather than finding the YanomamÖ to be Rousseau's "noble savages," he discovered them to be a violent society. Men who killed others had the most wives and offspring, their violence giving them an advantage in evolutionary terms. The prime reasons for violence, Chagnon found, were to avenge deaths and, if possible, abduct women. Politically correct cultural anthropologists in the United States refused to accept Chagnon's empirical observations, and for his scientific integrity he was attacked by those who could not acknowledge an evolutionary basis for human behavior. Chagnon was the subject of a scathing popular book, and the American Anthropological Association condemned him, but later reversed its condemnation after undertaking a more careful review. In Noble Savages,Chagnon for the first time tells about life among the YanomamÖ for a popular audience and indicts the discipline of cultural anthropology, accusing it of having lost its scientific identity, instead becoming a band of political activists. Noble Savagesis one of the most significant works of anthropology ever published, indeed one of the most significant scientific memoirs ever written.

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