Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture
Harris is especially good at explaining how s...more
I read Marvin Harris' scintillating book in 1978. Although an accessible paperback desi...more
One more thing: Since I'm not...more
This is an interesting look at some of the cultural riddles that tend to mystify Westerners - like Cow Love in India, Pig Hate in the Middle East, Cargo Cults, etc. Harris explains how these seemingly ridiculous (to us) behaviors are actually perfectly sensible and successful adaption strategies. A short and pleasant read, well researched and written. I highly rec...more
Lo que no me queda claro es si el autor atribuye estas adaptaciones a una o varias inteligencias individuales o a alguna especie de 'int...more
* literal sacred cows
* swine both sacred and profane
* primitive chauvinism; the formation of warrior cultures
* the path of development fro...more
The main thing Harris...more
Como ya he dicho, este libro me parece genial, y le doy 5 estrellas (de lo mejor que leí en 2005). Puedo decir que me transformó y que me hizo interesarme por la antropología y plantearme la historia y la imagen que tenemos de las distintas culturas de una forma completamente distinta a como veía el mundo antes de leer este libro.
Teniendo eso en cuenta, Harris describe de forma amena (salvo algunos momentos del culto al cerdo y de los Potlatch que se me han hecho pesados y repetitivos)sus teorías, entonces muy novedosas, sobre el recurso de las sociedades a elementos sobrenaturales como elementos adapt...more
The chapter on Cargo cults made me extremely interested in the following chapter on messianism; cargo isn't just LIKE messianism, it is a form of it. Unfortunately, my trust in him was shaken when I found his research on messiah theology and history to be completely shoddy. For example, he writes th...more
While the author is very much the product of the time in which the book was written (the 1970's) the methods that ma...more
Why do Indians worship cows? Many Indians don't even know, but after reading this book's explanation, you'll understand all the historical and econ...more
While other books by Harris might be more educational on a "world history" scale, this book investigates cultural-religious institutions and beliefs that are certainly relevant and educational. Harris doesn't really care what people and cultures believe, but instead he tries to explain why they believe what they do. He does this f...more
I think Harris exposes solid, logic and interesting arguments that shed light on facts that are so poorly understood and seldom debated, and that are just followed by masses withouth stopping to think what they really entail.
The book is engaging and very easy to read.