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War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 18. Dezember 1997


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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: Oxford University Press, U.S.A.; Auflage: Reprint (18. Dezember 1997)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0195119126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195119121
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,1 x 1,5 x 13,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.9 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (7 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 193.490 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

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Throughout much of this century the notion has been gaining ground, bolstered by genocide and Holocaust, that modern warfare is more barbaric than war has ever been. Alongside this view has grown a romantic impression that primitive cultures were, and are, more peaceful. Lawrence Keeley, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois, aims to dispel this inversion of the connotations of "civilization." He cites the historical evidence that humans have always been just as bloodthirsty as they are today, and that indeed in the days when death was less clinical it was often nastier. War, it seems, has always been with us. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Pressestimmen

The evidence that Mr. Keeley marshals is vivid, varied, and often complex. The New York Times Book Review ...Keeley is an engaging writer who provides excellent summaries on many topics. American Anthropologist A sobering, grim, and important book. Foreign Affairs

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Von Peter Gray am 21. Juli 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
This book has a lot going for it. The style in which it is written may appeal to a broad audience as well as specialists. It puts lengthier, more technical discussions in notes at the back of the book and makes its points short and sweet (about 180 pages of text). The format of contrasting views of human violence by way of Rousseau and Hobbes is effective and carried throughout. Ethnographic and archeological examples are both fascinating and well chosen. These examples gain even more in interest when discussed in certain aspects of war, e.g. weaponry and fortifications. There are several ways in which this book is wanting, however. It employs a dichotomy throughout between "civilized" and "primitive" war. These words deserve to go the way of an inaccurate musket; more relevantly, they mask an acknowledged continuum of warfare. For example, a table in the appendix shows that hunter-gatherers engage in war less often than other "primitive" societies, such as pastoralists. It makes more sense to understand the variance in warfare among all societies than create an artifical dichotomy, despite its usefulness as an organizing theme for the book, between civilized and primitive warfare. The other major weakness of the book is its lack of a good definition of "war". The author overemphasizes economic motivations in primitive warfare at expense to blood revenge, wife stealing, etc. It isn't clear whether small-scale raiding in the form of blood revenge gets counted as "war" among primitive societies; it shouldn't be if it involves but a wronged man and a couple of his allies raiding. More precise descriptors such as "raiding" should thus be used. Most readers will still find the bold and blunt exposition as well as subject matter outweighs these weaknesses. Bid farewell to paradise.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Keeley utterly demolishes the "golden age" idiotological mythos with hard anthropological, ethnographic and archaeological fact. He also, very cleverly to my mind, considering the biases of modern academics, gives "primitives" a great deal of credit for their fighting prowess. There were some flaws to his thesis, of course. But I think he gets through his point well. It also contains some great black humor, such as his recounting of a Maori chief taunting the preserved head of an enemy chief: " You wanted to run away, did you? But my war club overtook you: and after you were cooked, you made food for my mouth. And where is your father? he is cooked:- and where is your brother? he is eaten:- and where is your wife? there she sits, a wife for me:- and where are your children? there they are, with loads on their backs, carrying food, as my slaves."
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Von Ein Kunde am 30. Juli 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
This is one of the more important books of recent years, persuasively dispelling the myth that non-technological societies possess an innocence and a devotion to peace that modern societies lack. Based on solid research, this book counters the popular contention that the introduction of Western values and customs tends to destroy the purported tranquility of primitive life. All students of history, particularly those inclined to view Western culture as inherently inferior to the cultures of Rousseau's "noble savages," ought to read this book. An outstanding work.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This is a very well written, researched book, with thoughtful analysis and down to earth reasoning. Anyone who might wonder if the world is getting better or worse...will find it is much better today. Read this book and encourage your friends to give it a look. I am waiting for the authors next work. Hurry up.
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