The Other Side of Eden by Hugh Brody
Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World

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Synopsis

Hugh Brody first encountered hunting peoples when he lived among the Inuit of the High Arctic, who instructed him not only how to speak but how to do and be Inuk-titut, "in the manner of an Inuk." Since then he has spent nearly three decades studying, learning from, crusading for, and thinking about hunter-gatherers, who survive at the margins of the vast, fertile lands occupied by farming peoples and their descendants, now the great majority of the world's population. 

In material terms, the hunters have been all but vanquished, yet in this profound and passionate book, Brody utterly dispels the notion that theirs is a lesser way of life. Drawing on his experiences among indigenous peoples as well as on the work of linguists, historians, and fellow anthropologists, he reveals the systems of thought, belief, and practice that distinguish the hunters from the farmers. Whereas the farmers are doomed to the geographical and spiritual restlessness embodied in the story of Genesis, Brody argues, the hunters' deep attachment to the place and ways of their ancestors stems from an enviable sense, distinctively expressed in thought, language, and behavior, that they are part of a web of relationships in the natural and spiritual worlds. Brody's aim, however, is not to elevate one mode of being over another; rather, it is to suggest that we might move beyond the familiar dichotomies and become more fully human. 

 

About Hugh Brody

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Hugh Brody is an associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University. He is the author of several books, including "Maps & Dreams," "Indians on Skid Row," & "Inishkillane: Change & Decline in the West of Ireland." He lives in London.
 
Published October 1, 2000 by Douglas & McIntyre. 368 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Civilized peoples (i.e., those whose cultures are rooted in farming and the building of cities) have not only written the history books, they have also created the mythical accounts of the days when the farming cultures swept across much of the world.

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The Guardian

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The Other Side of Eden: Hunter-Gatherers, Farmers and the Shaping of the World Hugh Brody Faber and Faber, £20, pp348 Buy it at a discount at BOL Anthropologist Hugh Brody describes the visit to London of Anaviapik, an Inuit who had never previously left the Arctic.

Jan 28 2001 | Read Full Review of The Other Side of Eden: Hunte...

Publishers Weekly

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Author, anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Brody offers a fascinating if sometimes digressive glimpse inside the world's vanishing hunter-gatherer cultures.

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