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The Old Way: A Story of the First People Paperback – October 30, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. When Thomas was 19, her father, one of the founders of Raytheon, moved her family to Africa to live among the bushmen of the Kalahari. It's hard to imagine a teenager today who would not only give up the comforts of living in an industrialized nation like the United States but also utterly embrace and come to love a group of people who live without possessions or even permanent dwellings. Thomas sees the !Kung San as noble people, and her voice imparts the respect—almost awe—she feels in their presence. Her narration is as intimate as if she were sharing with friends her intricate knowledge of the plants and animals of the Kalahari. She speaks Ju/wasi, the click language, so she can easily explain much by using the group's own words. Thomas's voice is also wise and loving: she helps us see as these gentle people do and takes us with her through their endangered, fragile environment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Heartbreaking and gorgeously observed . . . The Old Way is not only a timely work, but also a timeless one.” ―Alexandra Fuller, The New York Times Book Review
“A work of impressive scholarship and, more important, a book that connects the dots linking us to the first stages of the human race. . . . Remarkable.” ―The Washington Post
“It is fascinating to see how Thomas has honed her observational powers over the years . . . and how her notion of 'culture' has broadened.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Thomas captures the fascinating customs of a people that had no future as a tribe.” ―The Daily News (New York)
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This particular account was written by a woman who in her youth, along with family members, actually lived for some time among bushmen who were still living according to their ancient culture. I found it tremendously interesting, though sad in the parts that dealt with their difficulties brought about by the modern world.