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Sons of the Shaking Earth (Phoenix Books)

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226905006
ISBN-10: 0226905004
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Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix Books
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (August 15, 1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226905004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226905006
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,348,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Donahue on June 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sons of the Shaking Earth is simply one of the best summaries of the Mexican experience that I have read. It synthesizes the last fifteen hundred years of Mexican cultural and ethnological history better than any other volume of which I am aware. As a teacher with some forty years experience I have returned again and again to Eric Wolf's razor sharp insights on the Mexican experience and never, ever, been disappointed. I lived a long portion of my youth in Mexico, but it wasn't until reading Wolf's analyses of the Mexican (especially mestizo) mind that I felt as though I had come to grips with the fundamental realities of the place and of its people. I ordered this book as a gift to my daughter, an art historian and a professor specializing in things Mexican. I know better than to think I will be able to keep myself from dog earing chapters to which she must pay special attention and underlinging text that I have found particularly powerful. Eric Wolf has truly captured the essence of the rise of the Mexican pre-columbian societies, the conquest, the colonial era, the separation of Mexico and Spain, and the rise of the mestizo groups to power. No one who would know the Mexican people will want to miss this writing. Wolf goes out on an intellectual limb from time to time. Perhaps in a few cases he extrapolates more than is academically wise. But in committing these minor sins he stimulates thinking, provokes discussion, pushes back frontiers of ignorance, and makes us reconsider comfortable 'realities.' This work is dated, yes. But there is a reason it is still out there, still around, still available.
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Format: Paperback
I first read the book as an introduction to the local and regional cultures of Mexico and Guatemala. Although dated in the latter chapters, the book gives one a comprehensive grounding of the region's cultures from the Formative to the recent past. I would start with this book as a baseline, then turn to the more recent and specialized ethnographies of the communities across the two countries, not to mention regional and national histories since 1959.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book by Eric Wolf is an absolute classic for any serious Anthropologist with an interest in Mesoamerica. What's more, it cost me almost nothing ($3.50) and it was in great shape. Thanks Amazon!
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