Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021



Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Cultural Anthropology. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

Number One New York Times Best Seller In Sapiens , he explored our past. In Homo Deus , he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today's most pressing issues. "Fascinating...a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century." (Bill Gates, The New York Times Book Review ) How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.  In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?  Harari's unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential listening. Praise for 21 Lessons for the 21st Century : "If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari...tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: 'What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?'" ( BookPage ) "A sobering and tough-minded perspective on bewildering new vistas." ( Booklist )

  • Author: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Anthropology, Cultural

                 

2. Outliers: The Story of Success


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

From the best-selling author of The Bomber Mafia , learn what sets high achievers apart - from Bill Gates to the Beatles - in this seminal work from "a singular talent" ( New York Times Book Review ). In this stunning audiobook, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers" - the best and the brightest, the most famous, and the most successful. He asks the question: What makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: That is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

  • Author: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Genre: Science & Math, Mathematics, Applied, Statistics

                 

3. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

  • Author: Robin DiAngelo
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; Reprint edition (June 26, 2018)
  • Genre: History, Americas
  • ISBN: 978-0807047415
  • Dimensions: 6 x 0.57 x 9 inches

                 

4. Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding - "tribes". This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival. Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians - but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today. Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that - for many veterans as well as civilians - war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. Tribe explains why we are stronger when we come together and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.

  • Author: Sebastian Junger
  • Genre: History, Military, United States, Veterans

                 

5. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.   “This is the book I’ve been waiting for.”—Ibram X. Kendi, #1  New York Times bestselling author of  How to Be an Antiracist Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out? McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.   But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own. The Sum of Us  is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint an irrefutable story of racism’s costs, but at the heart of the book are the humble stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy’s collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.

  • Author: Heather McGhee
  • Publisher: One World (February 16, 2021)
  • Genre: History, Americas
  • ISBN: 978-0525509561
  • Dimensions: 6.42 x 1.35 x 9.55 inches

                 



6. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

A timely investigation into the new "safety culture" on campus and the dangers it poses to free speech, mental health, education, and ultimately democracy The generation now coming of age has been taught three Great Untruths: their feelings are always right; they should avoid pain and discomfort; and they should look for faults in others and not themselves. These three Great Untruths are part of a larger philosophy that sees young people as fragile creatures who must be protected and supervised by adults. But despite the good intentions of the adults who impart them, the Great Untruths are harming kids by teaching them the opposite of ancient wisdom and the opposite of modern psychological findings on grit, growth, and antifragility.   The result is rising rates of depression and anxiety, along with endless stories of college campuses torn apart by moralistic divisions and mutual recriminations.    This is a book about how we got here. First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt take us on a tour of the social trends stretching back to the 1980s that have produced the confusion and conflict on campus today, including the loss of unsupervised play time and the birth of social media, all during a time of rising political polarization.     This is a book about how to fix the mess. The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life, with devastating consequences for them, for their parents, for the companies that will soon hire them, and for a democracy that is already pushed to the brink of violence over its growing political divisions. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity.     This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.

  • Author: Jonathan Haidt
  • Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Health & Wellness, Psychology & Mental Health, Psychology, Social Psychology & Interactions

                 

7. The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from number-one best-selling author John Green. The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, best-selling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale - from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and  Penguins of Madagascar. Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together. John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection.  The Anthropocene Reviewed  is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world. Audio exclusive! Three bonus essays!

  • Author: John Green
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Essays & Correspondence, Essays

                 

8. All About Love: New Visions


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

The acclaimed first volume in feminist icon bell hooks' "Love Song to the Nation,”  All About Love is a revelation about what causes a polarized society and how to heal the divisions that cause suffering. Here is the truth about love, and inspiration to help us instill caring, compassion, and strength in our homes, schools, and workplaces. “The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, renowned scholar, cultural critic and feminist bell hooks offers a proactive new ethic for a society bereft with lovelessness--not the lack of romance, but the lack of care, compassion, and unity. People are divided, she declares, by society’s failure to provide a model for learning to love.  As bell hooks uses her incisive mind to explore the question “What is love?” her answers strike at both the mind and heart. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the “100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life.” All About Love is a powerful, timely affirmation of just how profoundly her revelations can change hearts and minds for the better.

  • Author: bell hooks
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 765th edition (January 30, 2018)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches

                 

9. Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

The charges of white privilege and systemic racism that are tearing the country apart fIoat free of reality. Two known facts, long since documented beyond reasonable doubt, need to be brought into the open and incorporated into the way we think about public policy: American whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians have different violent crime rates and different means and distributions of cognitive ability. The allegations of racism in policing, college admissions, segregation in housing, and hiring and promotions in the workplace ignore the ways in which the problems that prompt the allegations of systemic racism are driven by these two realities. What good can come of bringing them into the open? America’s most precious ideal is what used to be known as the American Creed: People are not to be judged by where they came from, what social class they come from, or by race, color, or creed. They must be judged as individuals. The prevailing Progressive ideology repudiates that ideal, demanding instead that the state should judge people by their race, social origins, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. We on the center left and center right who are the American Creed’s natural defenders have painted ourselves into a corner. We have been unwilling to say openly that different groups have significant group differences. Since we have not been willing to say that, we have been left defenseless against the claims that racism is to blame. What else could it be? We have been afraid to answer. We must. Facing Reality is a step in that direction.

  • Author: Charles Murray
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (June 15, 2021)
  • Genre: Education & Teaching, Schools & Teaching
  • ISBN: 978-1641771979
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches

                 

10. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Cultural Anthropology - August 2021

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A timely and important book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the #1 bestselling author of  Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection Look for Brené Brown’s new podcast,  Dare to Lead,  as well as her ongoing podcast  Unlocking Us ! HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK   “True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging. Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”

  • Author: Brené Brown
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 27, 2019)
  • Genre: Self-Help, Relationships
  • ISBN: 978-0812985818
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 0.53 x 5.45 inches