Category: Books

Books: January Additions

Barbash, Ilisa. Where the Roads All End: Photography and Anthropology in the Kalahari. Foreword by Paul Theroux. Cambridge: Peabody Museum Press,  2017.

Publisher’s abstract:  Where the Roads All End tells the remarkable story of an American family’s eight anthropological expeditions to the remote Kalahari Desert in South–West Africa (Namibia) during the 1950s. Raytheon co–founder Laurence Marshall, his wife Lorna, and children John and Elizabeth recorded the lives of some of the last remaining hunter–gatherers, the so–called Bushmen, in what is now recognized as one of the most important ventures in the anthropology of Africa. Largely self–taught as ethnographers, the family supplemented their research with motion picture film and still photography to create an unparalleled archive that documents the Ju/’hoansi and the /Gwi just as they were being settled by the government onto a “Bushman Preserve.” The Marshalls’ films and publications popularized a strong counternarrative to existing negative stereotypes of the “Bushman” and revitalized academic studies of these southern African hunter–gatherers. This vivid and multilayered account of a unique family enterprise focuses on 40,000 still photographs in the archives of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

Continue reading

Books: Cumulative List

Adams, William Yewdale. The Boasians: Founding Fathers and Mothers of American Anthropology. Lanham: Hamilton Books, 2016.

Publisher’s Abstract: This book is a study in depth of the work of Franz Boas and twenty of his students at Columbia University in the early years of the twentieth century. Collectively they laid the entire institutional as well as the intellectual foundations of American anthropology as it exists today. The book begins with a discussion of the historical context of Boasian anthropology, and an overview of its nature and limitations. The work of Boas and his leading students is then discussed in detail, including biographical data, a review and critique of their research, a review in detail of each of their major publications, and an overall assessment of their contribution to anthropology, as seen in their own time and today. Continue reading