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5.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed view of the Hadza, June 25 2010
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A. Volk (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania (Paperback)
Frank Marlowe is an evolutionary anthropologist who has been studying the Hadza for almost two decades. The Hadza are a very rare society- despite being surrounded by an increasingly present "modern" world, they have chosen to largely continue living the life of their ancestors. Life as hunter-gatherers. Marlowe's book is a detailed summary of many aspects of Hadza life, taken from an evolutionary perspective. The book is divided into different topical chapters, each with a brief 2-4 page introduction to the relevant evolutionary theory. This makes it accessible to those outside of evolutionary research. The chapters themselves are full of interesting data on topics such as: parenting, mating, demographics, hunting-gathering efficiency, social organization, material culture, etc.

There's not a lot to write about as the book is quite simply the best book on the Hadza out there, and it has enough information for anyone interested in the Hadza, evolutionary anthropology, or hunter-gatherers in general, to appreciate it. What's more, Marlowe contends that the Hadza are the "average" hunter-gatherer, and thus they can offer perhaps the best glimpse into what life was like for our ancestors. In this regard, I think Marlowe potentially oversells his point that the Hadza are THE average hunter-gatherer group. But I am certainly sympathetic to the belief that they can offer us a lot of information about how some of our ancestors may have lived. The book appears to be written for an academic audience, but the writing is accessible enough for anyone interested in anthropology to easily understand it. When there is academic terminology, it is always introduced at the beginning of the chapter. The book has enough anecdotes and enough of Marlowe's personal thoughts to make it more than just an academic exercise, so it's easy for me to give it a very strong recommendation- five stars.
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The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania
The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania by Frank Marlowe (Paperback - March 23 2010)
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