Cows pigs wars and witches the riddles of culture

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cows pigs wars and witches the riddles of culture

Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris

This book challenges those who argue that we can change the world by changing the way people think. The author shows that no matter how bizarre a peoples behavior may seem, it always stems from concrete social and economic conditions. It is by isolating and identifying these conditions that we will be able to understand and cope with some of our own apparently senseless life styles. In a devastating attack on the shamans of the counterculture, the author states the case for a return to objective consciousness and a rational set of political commitments.

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Cows Pigs Wars And Witches

This book challenges those who argue that we can change the world by changing the way people think. The author shows that no matter how bizarre a people's behavior may seem, it always stems from concrete social and economic conditions. It is by isolating and identifying these conditions that we will be able to understand and cope with some of our own apparently senseless l. It is by isolating and identifying these conditions that we will be able to understand and cope with some of our own apparently senseless life styles. In a devastating attack on the shamans of the counterculture, the author states the case for a return to objective consciousness and a rational set of political commitments.

Mind-blowing anthropology. Great argument that the reasons that religions worship cows or hate pigs, that tribes wage wars, or Europe's years of witch hunts, are all very practical economic reasons usually unknown to the participants or washed out of history. But they're revealed here in zoomed-out hindsight. My notes here can't describe it. You have to read the whole book. This book is about the causes of apparently irrational and inexplicable lifestyles.

Thank you! Thus, it's not that a Hindu farmer would rather go hungry than eat beef; it's just that he will certainly starve if he has no animal to pull his plow, hence the religious taboo is a consequence rather than a cause of economic necessity.
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Why do Jews and Muslims refuse to eat pork? Why were thousands of witches burned at the stake during late medieval Europe? These and other riddles are explored by famous anthropologist Marvin Harris, and his conclusions are simple: people act within social and ecological contexts that make their actions meaningful. Put another way: cultural ideas and practices that seem strange to us may actually be vital and necessary to the people of those cultures. Harris is especially good at explaining how societies create elaborate rituals to avoid harming the natural ecosystems they depend on, which clarifies the Middle Eastern ban on pig products. It turns out the chubby animals compete with humans for the same foods. Raising them in large numbers would place great strain on a land made fragile by thousands of years of deforestation and desertification.

5 thoughts on “Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris

  1. The top history books of last year picked by Amazon Book Review Editor, Chris Schluep. Marvin Harris taught at Columbia University from and from to was Chairman of the Department of Anthropology. His others books inlcue Cannibals and Kings and Cultural Materialism.

  2. Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris. One of America's leading anthropologists offers solutions to the perplexing question of.

  3. COWS, PIGS, WARS & WITCHES: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris | Kirkus Reviews

  4. Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. This book challenges those who argue that we can cha.

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