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...

Ragan rated it ★★★★★

January 09, 2018

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 preserves the most import...

Amber rated it ★★★★☆

February 06, 2018

Hunter-gatherers were the original leisure society. It didn’t take as long as we “civilized people” might think to acquire the necessities of a simple life. Life wasn’t all work. And the work people did? Hunting. Modern people do it for recreation. Picking fruits and nuts and wild plants. Again,...

Rachel rated it ★★★★★

December 21, 2017

The whites in Namibia, South Africa, and Botswana are taking everything from the Bushmen and giving nothing in return. The Bushmen are no longer the people you might have seen in "The Gods Must Be Crazy" movies; they are being resettled, forced into agricultural labor, not given any education, an...

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...

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...

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.

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...

Ann rated it ★★★★☆

December 24, 2017

A sad book about Bushmen as they once were, with enough to live on--mostly--and time to enjoy life, followed by a narrative of what they have become as they were overtaken by forces beyond control of their simpler, more laid-back society. (Forces include pushy and acquisitive farmers and herders...

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