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Man's Rise to Civilization: The Cultural Ascent of the Indians of North America Paperback – October 18, 1991

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 18, 1991
$39.98 $1.17

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 18, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140153233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140153231
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
Peter Farb's book should be brought back into print: unfortunately, he's dead and so there's nobody to promote the book so probably no publisher will be interested. However, you'll find much of his work resurrected in Daniel Quinn's book "Ishmael" and Thom Hartmann's book "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," both brilliant works available here on amazon.com. All are highly recommended...
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Format: Paperback
I read this bookfrom the public library some twenty years ago and was so impressed that I bought a copy from my local bookstore. I was not college educated at the time, but this book is so well written that it is easily understood by the average reader. Mr. Farb completely changed my ideas on the American Indian and civilization in the USA. I thought all indians lived in teepees and hunted buffalo and had this all-knowing spirituality. I was completely shocked to learn that they often slaughtered buffalo by running them off cliffs, and that some tribes lived by eating wild berries and whatever they could gather and slept under bushes at night. Of course there were those tribes that were spiritual and educated and had democratic societies. He explains and compares our society today to the American Indians civilization before the white man came to destroy them. It is a wonderful book and I am so sorry it is out of print. It should be published again. If Mr. Farb is still living I would like to be able to write to him and tell him what a profound impression he made.
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Format: Paperback
Obviously inspired by respect and admiration for North American Indians, Peter Farb delineates the various ways in which cultures can answer the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of humans. It seems as though every aspect of human development is represented in this detailed overview. Equally impressive are the impoverished, bug-eating Ute philosophers and the thoroughly democraticized pre-Colonial Iroquois. This book should be read by every student of those things "American" as a pre-quel to our otherwise aristo(Euro)centric American History curriculum
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're like me and prefer to be presented with facts with which to make your own conclusions, you'll love this book. Farb presents the known anthropolgy of different groups of Amerindians, discusses various theories of group development and archaelogical history to describe how and why different groups of people developed in different ways. Yes, he does make summary conclusions that he believes are right, but he leaves enough room for the reader to consider other explanations. In this way, I prefer it to "Guns, Germs and Steel," which is so easy to just poke holes in.
While there is definitely an anti-european sentiment throughout the book, there is little glorification of the "noble savage." An eye-opening description of different groups from the most primitive (root-grubbing), to large, complex groups. The author also explains the migration of early peoples, along with climate-change in a cohesive presentation. You really feel that you understand what North America was like 9,000 years ago, and how that helped shape Amerindian history (of course, it also makes one question the future.)
It's an education in a paperback, superior in scope and more fact-based than most college classes. Thank you Amazon for making it possible for people to learn of these books and acquire them.
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