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Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures by…
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Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures (1977)

by Marvin Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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548729,331 (4.2)16
In this brilliant and profound study the distinguished American anthropologist Marvin Harris shows how the endless varieties of cultural behavior -- often so puzzling at first glance -- can be explained as adaptations to particular ecological conditions. His aim is to account for the evolution of cultural forms as Darwin accounted for the evolution of biological forms: to show how cultures adopt their characteristic forms in response to changing ecological modes. "[A] magisterial interpretation of the rise and fall of human cultures and societies." -- Robert Lekachman, Washington Post Book World "Its persuasive arguments asserting the primacy of cultural rather than genetic or psychological factors in human life deserve the widest possible audience." -- Gloria Levitas The New Leader "[An] original and...urgent theory about the nature of man and at the reason that human cultures take so many diverse shapes." -- The New Yorker "Lively and controversial." -- I. Bernard Cohen, front page, The New York Times Book Review… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

English (5)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 5 of 5
interesting stories here, too ( )
  jmilloy | Nov 8, 2017 |
I read this for an Anthropology of Religion class at the College of Charleston. It was fun and easy to read. ( )
  Kitty.Cunningham | Jul 19, 2017 |
In this brilliant and profound study the distinguished American anthropologist Marvin Harris shows how the endless varieties of cultural behavior — often so puzzling at first glance — can be explained as adaptations to particular ecological conditions. His aim is to account for the evolution of cultural forms as Darwin accounted for the evolution of biological forms: to show how cultures adopt their characteristic forms in response to changing ecological... ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Tutter | Dec 19, 2014 |
Precursor to Jared Diamond's more extensive "Guns, Germs and Steal," Harris posits a form of cultural determinism that explains the development of different cultural forms through ecological forces. A potentially dry topic is made grimly fascinating by his combination of engaging prose, dry wit and eye for morbid turns of phrase. ( )
  coffeezombie | Oct 30, 2012 |
Very good book on the anthropology of culture. ( )
  dinu | Jan 31, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marvin Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
González Trejo, HoracioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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