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Stone Age Economicsby Marshall D. Sahlins
Synopses & Reviews
Stone Age Economics is a classic study of anthropological economics, first published in 1974. As Marshall Sahlins stated in the first edition, It has been inspired by the possibility of 'anthropological economics, ' a perspective indebted rather to the nature of the primitive economies than to the categories of a bourgeois science. Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, the book includes six studies which reflect the author's ideas on revising traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original affluent society. The book examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. It consists of a set of detailed and closely related studies of tribal economies, of domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large.
Marshall Sahlins is one of the most prominent American anthropologists of our time. He holds the title of Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. His most recent book is How Natives Think: About Captain Cook, for Example.
Book News Annotation:
Sahlins (anthropology, U. of Chicago) rocked several disciplines with his article "The Original Affluent Society," and his argument that hunter-gatherers work less and are healthier than farmers still raises controversy four decades later. It is one of six in this collection, which together further his effort to create the specialty economic anthropology. Other topics include the domestic mode of production, the spirit of gift, and exchange value and the diplomacy of primitive trade. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, Stone Age Economics includes six studies that reflect the authors ideas on revising traditional views of hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original affluent society. When it was originally published in 1974, E. Evans-Pritchard of the Times Literary Supplement noted that this classic study of anthropological economics is rich in factual evidence and in ideas, so rich that a brief review cannot do it justice; only another book could do that.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 315-336) and index.
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