A vibrant portrait of the original affluent society --the Bushmen of southern Africa--by the anthropologist who has spent the better part of the last twenty-five years documenting their encounter with modernity.If the success of a civilization is measured by its endurance over time, then the Bushmen of the Kalahari are by far the most successful in human history. A hunting and gathering people who made a good living by working only as much as needed to exist in harmony with their hostile desert environment, the Bushmen have lived in southern Africa since the evolution of our species nearly two hundred thousand years ago.In Affluence Without Abundance, anthropologist James Suzman asks whether understanding how hunter-gatherers like the Bushmen found contentment by having few needs easily met might help us address some of the environmental and economic challenges we face today. Vividly bringing to life a proud and private people, introducing unforgettable members of their tribe, Affluence Without Abundance tells the story of the collision between the modern global economy and the oldest hunting and gathering society on earth. In rendering an intimate picture of a people coping with radical change, it asks profound questions about how we now think about matters such as work, wealth, equality, contentment, and even time.Not since Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's The Harmless People in 1959 has anyone provided a more intimate or insightful account of the Bushmen or of what we might learn about ourselves from our shared history as hunter-gatherers."
Affluence Without Abundance Review
- July 29, 2017Kevin MarshallThoughtful & somewhat depressingA kind of rambling look at the three eras: hunter/gatherer agricultural & industrial/post thru the lens of the author's long aquaintance with bushman culture.Well worth reading on the most fundamental issues facing us personally & as a global human society.more
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