Every few years, it seems, there is a new bestselling Big History book. And not infrequently, they have rather grandiose titles. Who does not remember
or Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years ? But equally often, these books rapidly show their age and are criticized for oversimplifying matters. And so I found myself with Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, a 692-page brick with an equally grandiose title. In what follows, I hope to convince you why I think this book will stand the test of time better.
anthropology, archaeology, evolution, history and tagged 'Ubaid period, Adam Smith, Agricultural Revolution, agriculture, Alfred Kroeber, Alfred W. Crosby, Algonkians, Allen Lane, Amazonians, ancient Athens, Ancient Egypt, anthropology, Arawakan people, archaeobotany, archaeology, ARJ Turgot, art, Arthur Evans, Athabascan people, Attiwandaronk people, autonomy, Axial Age, ayllu (Andean village associations), Aztec civilization, Çayönü Tepesi, Émile Durkheim, book review, Brother Gabriel Sagard, bureaucracy, burial practices, burials, Cahokia (city), Californian aboriginals, Calusa people, cave paintings, cereal cultivation, Chavín de Huánar, Chavín de Huántar, Cherokee Nation, Chetco Nation, Cheyenne people, China, Choctaw Nation, Christopher Boehm, cities, civilizations, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Clifford Geertz, Colin Renfrew, colonialism, communism, consensus decision-making, crops, culture, culture areas, cuneiform script, democracy, domestication, dreams, economic inequality, egalitarianism, Elias Canetti, environmental determinism, Epic of Gilgamesh, esoteric knowledge, ethnography, ethnology, farming, Father Jérôme Lallemant, Father Pierre de Charlevoix, female figurines, Fernando Santos-Granero, Fertile Crescent, Five Nations of Haudenosaunee, foraging, Fort Ancient, France, Francis Fukuyama, Francisco Cervantes de Salazar, Franz Boas, French Revolution, Göbleki Tepe, geometric earthworks, Gilbert Chinard, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Great Sun of the Natchez, Guaicurú people, Hadza people, Haida people, Hammurabi of Babylon, Harappan civilization, Helena Valero, Hernán Cortés, history, Holocene Epoch, Hopewell earthworks, Hopewell Interaction Sphere, human evolution, hunter-gathering, ice ages, Inca empire, indigenous critique, indigenous people, Indus civilization, information, Inuit, Iroquois peoples, James C. Scott, James Woodburn, Japan, Jared Diamond, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jericho, Jigonsaseh, John Locke, Jomon period, Kalahari Bushmen (San), Kandiaronk (Huron-Wendat chief), Karl Marx, kurgans (burial mounds), Kwakiutl people, Lakota people, language, Lapita horizon, Levantine Corridor, Linear Pottery tradition, livestock, Madame de Graffigny, Maidenetske (mega-site), Marcel Mauss, Marija Gimbutas, Marshall Sahlins, matriarchy, Max Weber, Mayan civilization, Mbuti Pygmies, Mesoamerica, Mesolithic, Mesopotamia, Mexico, Mi'kmaq people, migration, Minoan civilization, Minoan Crete, missionaries, Mississippian civilization, Moctezuma the Younger, monarchy, Montagnais-Naskapi people, monumental architecture, Motolinía (Toribio of Benavente), mummies, myths, Nambikwara people, Napoleon Chagnon, Natchez people, native Americans, Neanderthals, Nebelivka (mega-site), Neolithic, Nilotic peoples, noble savage, Nuer people, Olmec culture, Osage people, Pacific Coast aboriginals, Papua New Guinea, patriarchy, Paul Radin, personal autonomy, personal freedom, Peru, Pierre Clastres, Plains Indians, political inequality, politics, potlatch, Poverty Point earthworks, prehistory, private property, property rights, public housing, religion, rituals, river deltas, Robert Lowie, Robin Dunbar, Roman Law, Royal Tombs of Ur, Rudolf von Ihering, sacred places, schismogenesis, seasonality, Shang dynasty, Shilluk people, Sigmund Freud, skulls, slavery, slaves, social evolution, social hierarchies, social revolutions, social sciences, social theory, sortition, sovereignty, Spanish conquistadors, state formation, states, Steven Pinker, Stonehenge, Sumerians, Taljanky (mega-site), taxes, Teotihuacan, Mexico, Ter Ellingson, the Enlightenment, Thebes, Thomas Hobbes, Thorkild Jacobsen, Tikal, Tlingit people, Toltec people, trade, Tula (city), urban administration, urbanisation, urbanization, V. Gordon Childe, violence, Voltaire, Walter Goldschmidt, warfare, Wendat (Huron), women, Xicotencatl the Elder, Xicotencatl the Younger, Yanomami people, Yurok people, Yuval Noah Harari on .
July 13, 2022 3 Comments
One fond memory I have of studying biology at Leiden University in the Netherlands was a behind-the-scenes tour for first-year students at the then brand new location of Naturalis Biodiversity Center. This included a tour of the main tower housing the scientific collection normally off-limits to the general public. This is the domain of the museum curator, but their work involves much more than spending time amidst storage cabinets. To get a good idea just how diverse this job is, look no further than this lively and beautifully presented memoir. Here, Lance Grande tells of his career of more than thirty years as a curator at the Field Museum in Chicago.
natural history museums and tagged anthropology, biodiversity, biography, book review, conservation biology, curation, environmental conservation, ethics, Field Museum of Natural History, fish, fossil collectors, fossils, lions, memoir, meteorites, mummies, museum collections, natural history museums, skeletons, Tyrannosaurus rex, University of Chicago Press, wildlife conservation on .
March 20, 2019 3 Comments