The Old Way: A Story of the First People

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Macmillan, Oct 30, 2007 - Social Science - 368 pages
28 Reviews
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. In The 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 Way is a rare and remarkable achievement, sure to stir up controversy, and worthy of celebration.

  

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Review: The Old Way: A Story of the First People

User Review  - Max Carmichael - Goodreads

After opening with unnecessary and dubious evolutionary abstractions and generalizations, Marshall settles into her personal, concrete narrative of Bushman life, which makes this worth reading as she ... Read full review

Review: The Old Way: A Story of the First People

User Review  - Don Weidinger - Goodreads

Bushmen, change for own sake is risky change only as needed, overexposed academia mad at scene not of their belief, 233 species of primates, grass fires for fresh grass and attract prey, poison on ... Read full review

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Contents

Fifteen Hundred Centuries
3
Our Lineage
21
Meat and Fire
24
The Kalahari
43
The Search
54
Place fo 7 Hunting
86
Gathering
107
i0 Dangerous Animals
139
i8 Tsumkwe
279
i9 Return
289
The Present
297
Notes
319
Bibliography
329
Index
335
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is the author of seven books, nonfiction and fiction —among them The Hidden Life of Dogs, The Harmless People, and Reindeer Moon. She’s written for The New Yorker, National Geographic, and The Atlantic, and lives in New Hampshire.

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