The Old Way

The Old Way

A Story of the First People

Book - 2006 | First edition.
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One of our most influential anthropologists reevaluates her long and illustrious career by returning to her roots--and the roots of life as we know it When Elizabeth Marshall Thomas first arrived in Africa to live among the Kalahari San, or bushmen, it was 1950, she was nineteen years old, and these last surviving hunter-gatherers were living as humans had lived for 15,000 centuries. Thomas wound up writing about their world in a seminal work,The Harmless People(1959). It has never gone out of print. Back then, this was uncharted territory and little was known about our human origins. Today, our beginnings are better understood. And after a lifetime of interest in the bushmen, Thomas has come to see that their lifestyle reveals great, hidden truths about human evolution. As she displayed in her bestseller,The Hidden Life of Dogs, Thomas has a rare gift for giving voice to the voices we don't usually listen to, and helps us see the path that we have taken in our human journey. InThe Old Way, she shows how the skills and customs of the hunter-gatherer share much in common with the survival tactics of our animal predecessors. And since it is "knowledge, not objects, that endure" over time, Thomas vividly brings us to see how linked we are to our origins in the animal kingdom. The Old Wayis a rare and remarkable achievement, sure to stir up controversy, and worthy of celebration. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is the author of seven books, nonfiction and fiction--among themThe Hidden Life of Dogs, The Harmless People, andReindeer Moon. She has written forThe New Yorker,National Geographic, andThe Atlantic, and lives in New Hampshire. When Elizabeth Marshall Thomas first arrived in Africa to live among the Kalahari San, or bushmen, it was 1950, she was nineteen years old, and these last surviving hunter-gatherers were living as humans had lived for fifteen thousand centuries. Thomas wound up writing about their world in a seminal work,The Harmless People(1959), a book that is still in print.   The history of mankind that most of us know is only the tip of the iceberg, a brief stint compared to fifteen thousand centuries of life as roving clans that seldom settled down adapted every day to changes in environment and food supply, and lived for the most part like the animal ancestors from which they evolved. Those origins are not so easily abandoned, Thomas suggests, and our wired, documented, and market-driven society has plenty to learn from the Bushmen of the Kalahari about human evolution.   As she displayed in The Hidden Life of Dogs, Thomas helps us see the path that we have taken in our human journey. InThe Old Way, she shows how the skills and customs of the hunter-gatherer share much in common with the survival tactics of our animal predecessors. And since it is "knowledge, not objects, that endure" over time, Thomas brings us to see how linked we are to our origins in the animal kingdom. "Heartbreaking and gorgeously observed . . .The Old Wayis not only a timely work, but also a timeless one--a last look back before we decide how to go forward."--Alexandra Fuller,The New York Times Book Review "Heartbreaking and gorgeously observed . . .The Old Wayis not only a timely work, but also a timeless one--a last look back before we decide how to go forward."--Alexandra Fuller,The New York Times Book Review   "It is fascinating to see how Thomas has honed her observational powers over the year . . . a
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374225520
0374225524
Branch Call Number: 305.8961 THO
Characteristics: xiv, 343 pages :,illustrations ;,23 cm

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