Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures

Book Title Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures
Author Name Marvin Harris
Publishing house Vintage
Country – city USA
Date of issue 1991
Number of pages 368 

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In this brilliant and profound study the distinguished American anthropologist Marvin Harris shows how the endless varieties of cultural behavior — often so puzzling at first glance — can be explained as adaptations to particular ecological conditions. His aim is to account for the evolution of cultural forms as Darwin accounted for the evolution of biological forms: to show how cultures adopt their characteristic forms in response to changing ecological modes.

“[A] magisterial interpretation of the rise and fall of human cultures and societies.”

— Robert Lekachman, Washington Post Book World

“Its persuasive arguments asserting the primacy of cultural rather than genetic or psychological factors in human life deserve the widest possible audience.”

— Gloria Levitas The New Leader

“[An] original and…urgent theory about the nature of man and at the reason that human cultures take so many diverse shapes.”