Affluence Without Abundance
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Affluence Without Abundance : The Disappearing World of the Bushmen

4.09 (33 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A vibrant portrait of the "original affluent society"--the Bushmen of southern Africa--by the anthropologist who has spent much 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 vividly brings to life a proud and private people, introducing unforgettable members of their tribe, and telling 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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 33.02mm | 637g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Bloomsbury USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 16-page color insert and 5 b&w maps
  • 1632865726
  • 9781632865724
  • 31,863

Review quote

"This book has truth on every page and is filled with important insights that range from hunting and tracking to how we think about time, money, value or success." - Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of THE HARMLESS PEOPLE and THE OLD WAY "This beautiful book--part memoir, part ethnography--offers a window into the lives of one of the most enduring of human cultures . . . If you have ever wondered how it might be to measure wealth not by material possessions but by the strength of social relations between people, read this book." - Wade Davis, author of THE WAYFINDERS and INTO THE SILENCE "[A] beautiful, heartfelt paean. AFFLUENCE WITHOUT ABUNDANCE is learned without being condescending, tender yet unsentimental. It is both a celebration of an ancient way of life and a lament for all that has been lost in our own headlong pursuit of the material." - Peter Godwin, author of MUKIWA and WHEN A CROCODILE EATS THE SUN "A spirited ethnography of the ancestral peoples of the Kalahari. . . . A welcome contribution to a once-vibrant anthropological literature without many recent entries." - Kirkus Reviewsshow more

About James Suzman

James Suzman, Ph.D., is an anthropologist specializing in the Khoisan peoples of southern Africa. A recipient of the Smuts Commonwealth Fellowship in African Studies at Cambridge University, he is now the director of Anthropos Ltd., a think tank that applies anthropological methods to solving contemporary social and economic problems. He lives in Cambridge, England.show more

Rating details

33 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 42% (14)
4 24% (8)
3 33% (11)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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