The author, a worldrenowned mammalogist, invites readers on a fascinating journey to New Guinea in search of undocumented species, meeting tree kangaroos, "extinct" bats, and vengeful cannibals along the way. Reprint.
Sennett presses social theory and historical experience to his service in developing a provocative thesis: that the public world stage has been usurped by the private psychic scene to the detriment of both individual and society.--Carl Schorske, Princeton University. Stimulating and challenging.--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times.
The nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented discovery and exploration throughout the globe, a period when the "blank spaces" of the earth were systematically investigated, occupied, and exploited by the major imperial powers of Western Europe and the United States. The lived experience of space was also changing in dramatic ways for people as a result of new developments in technology, communication, and transportation. As a result, the century was characterized by a new and intense interest in place, both local and global.The collection is comprised of seventeen essays from various disciplines organized into four areas of geographic concern. The first, "Time Zones," examines several ways that place gets expressed as time during the period, how geography becomes history. A second grouping, "Commodities and Exchanges," explores the role of geographic origin as it was embodied in particular objects, from the souvenir map to imported tea. The set of essays on "Domestic Fronts" moves the discussion from the public to the private sphere by looking at how domestic space became defined in terms of its boundary with the foreign. The final section, "Orientations," takes up the changing relations of bodies, identities, and the spaces they inhabit and through which they moved. The collection as a whole also traces the development of the discipline of geography with its different institutional and political trajectories in the United States and Great Britain.
Armed with extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, acclaimed science writer Matt Ridley turns his attention to the nature-versus-nurture debate in a thoughtful book about the roots of human behavior.
Ridley recounts the hundred years' war between the partisans of nature and nurture to explain how this paradoxical creature, the human being, can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. With the decoding of the human genome, we now know that genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain, they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues, and even run memory. They are consequences as well as causes of the will.--Washington Post Book World
A masterful work of personal reportage, this volume is also a vibrant portrait of a mysterious people and an essential document of a disappearing culture.Fabled, feared, romanticized, and reviled, the Gypsies--or Roma--are among the least understood people on earth. Their culture remains largely obscure, but in Isabel Fonseca they have found an eloquent witness. In Bury Me Standing, alongside unforgettable portraits of individuals--the poet, the politician, the child prostitute--Fonseca offers sharp insights into the humor, language, wisdom, and taboos of the Roma. She traces their exodus out of India 1,000 years ago and their astonishing history of persecution: enslaved by the princes of medieval Romania; massacred by the Nazis; forcibly assimilated by the communist regimes; evicted from their settlements in Eastern Europe, and most recently, in Western Europe as well. Whether as handy scapegoats or figments of the romantic imagination, the Gypsies have always been with us--but never before have they been brought so vividly to life. Includes fifty black and white photos.
At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost--who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs--decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.The Sex Lives of Cannibals tells the hilarious story of what happens when Troost discovers that Tarawa is not the island paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles through relentless, stifling heat, a variety of deadly bacteria, polluted seas, toxic fish--all in a country where the only music to be heard for miles around is "La Macarena." He and his stalwart girlfriend Sylvia spend the next two years battling incompetent government officials, alarmingly large critters, erratic electricity, and a paucity of food options (including the Great Beer Crisis); and contending with a bizarre cast of local characters, including "Half-Dead Fred" and the self-proclaimed Poet Laureate of Tarawa (a British drunkard who's never written a poem in his life). With The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Maarten Troost has delivered one of the most original, rip-roaringly funny travelogues in years--one that will leave you thankful for staples of American civilization such as coffee, regular showers, and tabloid news, and that will provide the ultimate vicarious adventure.
Micheline Ishay recounts the dramatic struggle for human rights across the ages in a book that brilliantly synthesizes historical and intellectual developments from the Mesopotamian Codes of Hammurabi to today's era of globalization. As she chronicles the clash of social movements, ideas, and armies that have played a part in this struggle, Ishay illustrates how the history of human rights has evolved from one era to the next through texts, cultural traditions, and creative expression. Writing with verve and extraordinary range, she develops a framework for understanding contemporary issues from the debate over globalization to the intervention in Kosovo to the climate for human rights after September 11, 2001. The only comprehensive history of human rights available, the book will be essential reading for anyone concerned with humankind's quest for justice and dignity.Ishay structures her chapters around six core questions that have shaped human rights debate and scholarship: What are the origins of human rights? Why did the European vision of human rights triumph over those of other civilizations? Has socialism made a lasting contribution to the legacy of human rights? Are human rights universal or culturally bound? Must human rights be sacrificed to the demands of national security? Is globalization eroding or advancing human rights? As she explores these questions, Ishay also incorporates notable documents--writings, speeches, and political statements--from activists, writers, and thinkers throughout history.
Explores the central role played by the galaxy in both ancient and modern times in the transformation of the human spirit.- Extends Jenkins' groundbreaking research in Maya Cosmogenesis 2012. - Reveals how the coming Galactic Alignment of era-2012 promises a renewal of human consciousness. - Uncovers the galactic vision of Mayan, Egyptian, Greek, and Vedic cosmologies. The Galactic Alignment is a rare astronomical event that brings the solstice sun into alignment with the center of the Milky Way galaxy every 12,960 years. Building on the discoveries of his book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, Jenkins demonstrates that the end-date of 2012 does not signal the end of time but rather the beginning of a new stage in the development of human consciousness. He recovers a striking common thread that connects the ancient cosmological insights of the Maya not only to Egyptian thought and Vedic philosophy but also to the diversity of humankind's metaphysical traditions ranging from Celtic sacred topography and Medieval alchemy to the Kabbalah and Islamic astrology. His work presents us with a groundbreaking synthesis of lost wisdom once common to ancient cosmologies that will help us understand the significance of this transformative cosmic milestone.
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