The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World

The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World

Hugh Brody / Jun 24, 2019

The Other Side of Eden Hunters Farmers and the Shaping of the World Hugh Brody crystallizes three decades of studying learning from crusading for and thinking about hunter gatherers in this profound and provocative book Contrary to stereotype he says it is the fa

  • Title: The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World
  • Author: Hugh Brody
  • ISBN: 9780865476387
  • Page: 157
  • Format: Paperback
  • Hugh Brody crystallizes three decades of studying, learning from, crusading for, and thinking about hunter gatherers in this profound and provocative book Contrary to stereotype, he says, it is the farmers and their colonizing descendants ourselves who are the true nomads, doomed to the geographical and spiritual restlessness embodied in the story of Genesis By contrast,Hugh Brody crystallizes three decades of studying, learning from, crusading for, and thinking about hunter gatherers in this profound and provocative book Contrary to stereotype, he says, it is the farmers and their colonizing descendants ourselves who are the true nomads, doomed to the geographical and spiritual restlessness embodied in the story of Genesis By contrast, the hunters have a deep attachment to the place and ways of their ancestors that stems from an enviable sense, distinctively expressed in thought, word, and act, of being part of the fabric of the natural and spiritual worlds.

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      • Hugh Brody

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    798 Comments

    1. Hugh Brody is an English anthropologist. His parents were Jewish, and a number of their relatives died in the holocaust. Brody spent three decades in Canada hanging out with natives raised in hunter-gatherer societies. He worked for the government, and made documentary films.Brody was raised in a nutjob civilization. He found the hunter-gatherers to be fascinating, because they had many virtues that were missing in modern society. The natives were kind and generous people. They radiated a profou [...]


    2. Hey! Do you hate farmers? Then this book is for you. Ok, let me put that more diplomatically. If you're anything like me, at some point you have looked at all the terrible problems with our society, throughout its history (ruined environment, wars, colonization, christianity, etc) and have wondered what the f__k is wrong with white people. Hugh Brody's certainyl has. And his answer is really interesting. He writes that the root of many of our problems may be with farming, and the way that farmin [...]



    3. this might honestly be the best book i have ever read, and i've read a lot. if you can read this book and come away from it thinking there is nothing fundamentally wrong with civilization, then i probably want nothing much to do with youe text embraces cosmology, linguistics, natural history, ecology, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, history, and much more but no simple list of areas of inquiry can do justice to its scope and significance's a review i once wrote for it elsewhere: "do you thi [...]


    4. I like this book a lot. Brody is curious about how people shape language and how language shapes them. On these topics he has smart things to say. He learns about people by living with them, and he goes in humbly. As a result, people want to teach him, so he learns about culture from the ground up. This informs his observations with lived experience, and insights and wisdom--not just factual information--based on his subjects' perceptions and challenges specific to their culture.I share Brody's [...]


    5. One of the most enlightening books I have ever read. Puts nature and human beings into their proper perspective, that is to say that humans should survive in a manner similar to our ancestors, the hunters and gatherers, if we want to survive as a species and not wreck our planet's resources. Since the dawn of the age of farming, we have wreaked havoc on our planet, and Brody systematically and thoroughly shows us how this is so. He spent a lot of time with the natives of upper western Canada, wh [...]


    6. With varying degrees of anthropology, history, philosophy and theology Brody's work is at the very least thought provoking. With the idea that Genesis can be viewed as a history of the interaction between hunter-gatherers and farmers the author points out that farming societies are as nomadic, if not more so, than hunter-gatherers. As farming communities increase in size members have to leave for other places to make a living. Hunter-gatherers generally stay in the same relative geographic area. [...]


    7. This book is helpful for shaping one's perspective of different cultures and understanding one's ties to his/her own culture. It goes far beyond just telling the story of a few native tribes or people but really gives insight into differences between the hunter/gatherer way of life and the farmer way of life since European discovery of the Americas and its associated conflict. The comparison of these two ways of life is detailed and very engaging. There is no soap box preaching only a genuine at [...]


    8. Some great passages in here on the different hunter-gather communities Brody has spent time living and working with. Unfortunately, for me, too often it gets rather bogged down in the intricacies of linguistic origins or the various belief systems. As interesting as these subjects are it felt much more disjointed and less satisfactory reading than his other work Maps And Dreams which I'd recently read and enjoyed far more. For a student of this particular field of anthropology it will doubtless [...]


    9. Brody explores the differences between hunter/gatherer and agricultural societies. He make a compelling argument about the source of many of civilization's shortcomings, using a parallel narrative of his experiences in Canadian Inuit communities. To me, this book had linguistic and philosophical depth that was engaging. At times he is overly sentimental and praises the concept of a "noble savage" a bit much for my tastes, but overall a great read.


    10. IMO the first two-thirds were five stars, but I found the last third a bit uneven. I was especially disappointed with how Brody discussed gender roles in hunter gatherer cultures; I thought in spite of his attempts to explain how women and men have "separate yet equal" roles, his explanation itself showed bias. I also thought his conclusion was on the perfunctory side. On the whole, the book gave me lots to think about. Definitely worth a read.


    11. This was among the best books I've read this year. Brody has the clearest picture of the relationship between hunting cultures and farming that I've seen. He writes compellingly weaving storied experience and broader theory.


    12. This book definitely changed the way I think about indigenous societies. I enjoyed Brody's writing because he presents his theories with typical anthropological anecdotes, but also gives some well-written religious meaning to the hunter-gatherer history and lifestyle.


    13. Insightful. Required reading for an anthropology class but as enjoyable as if I had picked it out myself. One of the few books that really changes the way you not only look at a culture, but the world as a whole.


    14. Excellent mix of the personal and academic prespective on hunter/gathers. And since most of the book focuses on Canadian hunter/gathers who occupy over half the country, it would have been nice for him to draw out the implications for Canada -- goverance, identity etc.



    15. A fascinating and satisfyingly-detailed argument that occasionally gets a bit too sentimental. Still, I think it deserves a wider audience.



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