Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen by James Suzman

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Read Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen Online Free - A vibrant portrait of the original affluent society --the Bushmen of southern Africa--by the anthropologist who has spent the better part 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 asks whether understanding how hunter-gatherers like the Bushmen found contentment by having few needs easily met might help us address some of the environmental and economic challenges we face today. Vividly bringing to life a proud and private people, introducing unforgettable members of their tribe, Affluence Without Abundance tells 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.


Title : Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1632865726
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages


Carlos rated it ★★★★☆

October 19, 2017

All my anthropology professor told me the same thing, the difference between anthropologists and historians is in their books, while the fieldwork of an anthropologist is amazing (out there, socializing and making connections with people) the books they end up writing are the most boring you'll e...

Brittany rated it ★★★☆☆

September 18, 2017

I wanted this book to be about so much more than it was.... It took on the wrong tone for me, and started out in a way that made it lose sway with me. Instead of really showing the affluence without abundance it seemed to be more about breaking down the ideas of the bushman's way of life and spen...

Todd rated it ★★★★★

August 14, 2017

An excellent book that really shows the love the author had of the SAN people. Very well written. . . I wish I had read this before traveling through Namibia. Highly recommend.

Kevin rated it ★★★★★

July 29, 2017

Thoughtful & somewhat depressing A kind of rambling look at the three eras: hunter/gatherer agricultural & industrial/post thru the lens of the author's long aquaintance with bushman culture. Well worth reading on the most fundamental issues facing us personally & as a global human soci...

Cindy rated it ★★★★★

October 30, 2017

"Might we, like our hunter-gatherer forebears, learn to be satisfied with having fewer needs more easily met, embrace the economic Utopia imagined by Keynes, and in doing so break out of our destructive spiral of endless growth and development?" Suzman is a cultural anthropologist who has spent 25...

Dave rated it ★★★★★

November 17, 2017

This is one of the best books I've read in years. It's a beautifully written account of Namibia's hunter-gathers, a culture that has been successful and sustainable for 200,000 years. The content ranges from topics grand and small. Learn the Bushman's amazing hunting technique in one chapter. In...

Ragan rated it ★★★★★

December 10, 2017

This was a beautiful and important book about the most sustained human culture on earth. Suzman is not only a keen observer of culture, but also a wonderful writer. This book is required reading for all those who seek to live in a way that does not exhaust nature and yet preserve the most importa...

Derek rated it ★★★★☆

October 18, 2017

I think the author did a good job weaving the different narratives into a coherent piece of work. The book is provocative in suggesting that the modern world has lost something in the pursuit of more and more of everything. Our thirst for more will never be quenched, and yet we continue perpetuat...

Amanda rated it ★★★☆☆

December 10, 2017

I was hoping for information about Bushman society, or at least how they used to live. And there is some of that, spread throughout the book. But it's mostly the long, sad story of how greedy (and often white) men pushed their way of life on basically everyone in the world.

Rachel rated it ★★★★☆

November 19, 2017

Affluence Without Abundance takes a roundabout approach to getting at what the author wants to say. In fact, it was so roundabout I'm not sure I got all the points Suzman was trying to convey. But I did enjoy his stories of getting to know the bushmen, also called San, he met and the land. What s...

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