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Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest Paperback – April 30, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press; 1st Edition edition (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874809088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874809084
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Will be required reading for everyone concerned with the precontact Southwest or with the pre-Industrial Age human condition."—Patty Jo Watson
 



"This book should stimulate a long-overdue debate about the role of warfare in the prehistoric Southwest….Nothing half as comprehensive has been published on the subject."—Richard Woodbury
 



"Absolutely essential on the bookshelf of any scholar of the prehistoric or historic Southwest. It promises to spark and focus debate on the formation of basic patterns in the culture history of the greater Southwest."—The Journal of Arizona History



"Will put to rest any reasonable doubts that may persist about the presence and importance of warfare in the archaeological history of this region. [Le Blanc] has taken the analysis of warfare in the Southwest to an entirely new level."—Journal of Field Archaeology
 



"Successfully articulates why warfare needs to be systematically incorporated into models of prehistoric southwestern behavior. LeBlanc clearly presents a case for wafare that all scholars must address."—New Mexico Book Reviews



"There has been a wave of books by various authors that challenge the long-standing suppositions of anthropologists and archaeologists. One of these for Western history is Steven A. LeBlanc's groundbreaking work on the not-to-be-overlooked evidence all over the Southwest of continuous warfare for limited resources."—Journal of the West



"Unique for its general synthesis of Southwestern prehistory. LeBlanc's book has much to offer scholars and the interested public, and it will certainly be a defining work on warfare in this part of the world."—Science



"This is not a book for the faint of heart. But, in building his case for both endemic warfare and specific periods of lessened and heightened polity-based hostilities in the Southwest, LeBlanc raises a host of critical and deeply interesting questions regarding the nature of warfare in prehistorical societies in general and the Southwest in particular."—American Antiquity

From the Back Cover

"Will be required reading for everyone concerned with the precontact Southwest or with the pre-Industrial Age human condition." ( --Patty Jo Watson) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 99 people found the following review helpful By William Breer on June 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one of a triad published almost simultaneously by three different professionals assaulting traditional assumptions about the prehistory of the Southwest. Each of these works is formidable and collectively they will probably result in a paradigm shift in the interpretation of the nature of prehistoric society in the region. The other two works are Man Corn by Christy Turner, and The Chaco Meridian by Stephen Lekson. LeBlanc's work will jolt those comfortable with past versions of southwestern prehistory characterized by peaceful farmers living in harmony with one another and nature. LeBlanc offers a history, typology, and context for violence in the prehistoric Southwest. He devotes much space on a period of unusual warmth and moisture in the Southwest, 900 to 1200 AD. This era was dominated by a political center in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. The Chacoans may have dominated as much as fifty thousand square miles of the Southwest at this time. Chaco's political/military structure may justify calling it a regional variant of a Mesoamerican statelet.
For Chacoan times, LeBlanc feels there is much evidence of cannibalism, but very little of actual warfare. This is explained by the likelihood that those bold enough to defy the Lords of Chaco were exterminated and cannibalized. Cannibalism was an instrument of policy to terrorize potential rebels and ensure Chaco's dominion. Benign climate and enforced peace created a population explosion. The party ended when a series of droughts undermined the agricultural base. By the late 1200's the Southwest entered a prolonged period of unusual cold and drought. The societal response was the disintegration of the Pax Chaco and a bloody free-for-all in competition for fewer arable acres.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steve Harrison VINE VOICE on October 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very interesting (at least for someone who has lived in the area all his life and seen many of the sites it mentions)and convincing. As one of the earlier reviews reflects - and as the book itself clearly expects - this interpretation of the evidence highly offends those for whom ideology trumps acheology. The books' tone is rather dry; this is written as a scholarly work, not a popularization, and may not be exciting reading except for archeology majors.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cody Burkett on July 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely fabulous! The author has done a good job of providing a read that is both very informative, but not at all a "dry read" so to speak. I found this book enjoyable, as a matter of fact.
Also, i'm about to enter college as an anthropology major, and i am interested in pursuing a topic simular to the the subject of this book (it will be something dealing with warfare in the southwest, that's for certain) as a thesis, so no doubt this book will help me with that as well when the time comes for that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Butler on December 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good to get a truly fact based analysis. Prose is more workman like than graceful. Organization is clear albeit somewhat repetitive. Well worth the read if the subject interests you.
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10 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
With this book, author Leblanc allies himself with Christy Turner, both who appear to be fixated on their belief that Native Americans of the southwest were cannibals. Turner is notorious for shaping evidence to fit his narrow interpretation for cannibalism in the southwest. Leblanc appears to be following in the same narrow sphere of opinionated and inflamatory analysis of partial facts in order to make his case.
For example, Leblanc illustrates a group of atifacts he calls "swords" (105), although we do not know that what these are. There are people who know what these things are and what they mean. Why don't we hear their voices here?
Chapter Two, entitled "Evidence for Warfare" cites an excerpt of the story "The Destruction of Awatovi" (44), as written by Malotki (1993), suggesting to the reader that the fall of Awatovi was an act of war. Actually, Awatovi's destruction is a much more complex story, and was not an act of war but one of resistence and survival.
Leblanc claims that "warfare is a subject we would all like to ignore", although evidence is clearly to the contrary. History is an accounting of wars. Today's political manuvers use war as a mechanism to foster capitalism, trade, and world commerce.
There are other evidentiary problems in the text. A strong editor could have helped with these difficulties.
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