Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Anthropology. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.
1. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history, Volume I)
This fascinating book is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins. While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time. In this sense, nearly all Americans are "Albion's Seed," no matter what their ethnicity may be. The concluding section of this remarkable book explores the ways that regional cultures have continued to dominate national politics from 1789 to 1988, and still help to shape attitudes toward education, government, gender, and violence, on which differences between American regions are greater than between European nations.
- Author: David Hackett Fischer
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (March 14, 1989)
- Genre: New, Used & Rental Textbooks, Humanities
- ISBN: 978-0195069051
- Dimensions: 9.19 x 1.97 x 6.13 inches
2. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England
The book that launched environmental history now updated. Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize In this landmark work of environmental history, William Cronon offers an original and profound explanation of the effects European colonists' sense of property and their pursuit of capitalism had upon the ecosystems of New England. Reissued here with an updated afterword by the author and a new preface by the distinguished colonialist John Demos, Changes in the Land , provides a brilliant inter-disciplinary interpretation of how land and people influence one another. With its chilling closing line, "The people of plenty were a people of waste," Cronon's enduring and thought-provoking book is ethno-ecological history at its best.
- Author: William Cronon
- Publisher: HILL & WANG; Revised edition (September 1, 2003)
- Genre: History, Americas
- ISBN: 978-0809016341
3. Plagues and Peoples
Upon its original publication, Plagues and Peoples was an immediate critical and popular success, offering a radically new interpretation of world history as seen through the extraordinary impact--political, demographic, ecological, and psychological--of disease on cultures. From the conquest of Mexico by smallpox as much as by the Spanish, to the bubonic plague in China, to the typhoid epidemic in Europe, the history of disease is the history of humankind. With the identification of AIDS in the early 1980s, another chapter has been added to this chronicle of events, which William McNeill explores in his new introduction to this updated editon. Thought-provoking, well-researched, and compulsively readable, Plagues and Peoples is that rare book that is as fascinating as it is scholarly, as intriguing as it is enlightening. "A brilliantly conceptualized and challenging achievement" (Kirkus Reviews), it is essential reading, offering a new perspective on human history.
- Author: William H. McNeill
- Publisher: Anchor; 1st edition (January 1, 1976)
- Genre: Medical Books, Medicine
- ISBN: 978-0385121224
- Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
4. Cicero: Selected Works
Collecting the most incisive and influential writings of one of Rome's finest orators, Cicero's Selected Works is translated with an introduction by Michael Grant in Penguin Classics. Lawyer, philosopher, statesman and defender of Rome's Republic, Cicero was a master of eloquence, and his pure literary and oratorical style and strict sense of morality have been a powerful influence on European literature and thought for over two thousand years in matters of politics, philosophy, and faith. This selection demonstrates the diversity of his writings, and includes letters to friends and statesmen on Roman life and politics; the vitriolic Second Philippic Against Antony; and his two most famous philosophical treatises, On Duties and On Old Age - a celebration of his own declining years. Written at a time of brutal political and social change, Cicero's lucid ethical writings formed the foundation of the Western liberal tradition in political and moral thought that continues to this day. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
- Author: Marcus Tullius Cicero
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1st Edition (September 30, 1960)
- Genre: Literature & Fiction, History & Criticism
- ISBN: 978-0140440997
- Dimensions: 7.72 x 5.1 x 0.69 inches
5. A History of Japan: Revised Edition
A classic of Japanese history, this book is the preeminent work on the history of Japan. Newly revised and updated, A History of Japan is a single-volume, complete history of the nation of Japan. Starting in ancient Japan during its early pre-history period A History of Japan covers every important aspect of history and culture through feudal Japan to the post-cold War period and collapse of the Bubble Economy in the early 1990's. Recent findings shed additional light on the origins of Japanese civilization and the birth of Japanese culture. Also included is an in-depth analysis of the Japanese religion, Japanese arts, Japanese culture and the Japanese People from the 6th century B.C.E. to the present. This contemporary classic, now updated and revised, continues to be an essential text in Japanese studies. Classic illustrations and unique pictures are dispersed throughout the book. A History of Japan, Revised Edition includes: Archaic Japan—including Yamato, the creation of a unified state, the Nana Period, and the Heian period. Medieval Japan— including rule by the military houses, the failure of Ashikaga Rule, Buddhism, and the Kamakura and Muroachi Periods periods. Ealy Modern Japan—including Japanese feudalism, administration under the Tokugawa, and society and culture in early modern Japan. Modern Japan—including The Meiji Era and policies for modernization, from consensus to crisis (1912-1937), and solutions through force. This contemporary classic continues to be a central book in Japanese studies and is a vital addition to the collection of any student or enthusiast of Japanese history, Japanese culture, or the Japanese Language.
- Author: R. H. P. Mason
- Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Revised edition (November 15, 1997)
- Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
- ISBN: 978-0804820974
- Dimensions: 5 x 1.3 x 8 inches
6. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology
Key Benefit: Examine Culture and its Influence on Human Life Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology seeks to teach readers the importance of culture and its influence on human life. By including examples of Western, North American cultures, the text makes cultural understanding and comparison more relatable to audiences. The inclusion of current information and articles allows readers to connect with major anthropological concepts through relevant events. The Fifteenth Edition reflects the changing nature of the discipline of anthropology by shifting its focusing to the more concerning issues of today. Useful features like a glossary of key terms help readers understand basic concepts discussed in the readings. Articles throughout the text touch on all major subfields, including environmental, global, and medical topics, giving readers a comprehensive introduction to the field. Key Topics: Ethnography and Culture by James P. Spradley; Eating Christmas in the Kalahari by Richard Borshay Lee; Fieldwork on Prostitution in the Era of AIDS by Claire E. Sterk; Nice Girls Don’t Talk to Rastas by George Gmelch; Shakespeare in the Bush by Laura Bohannan; Manipulating Meaning: The Military Name Game by Sarah Boxer; Conversation Style: Talking on the Job by Deborah Tannen; The Hunters: Scarce Resources in the Kalahari by Richard Borshay Lee; Illegal Logging and Frontier Conservation by Nathan Williamson; We Are Going Underwater by Susan A. Crate; Forest Development the Indian Way by Richard K. Reed; Reciprocity and the Power of Giving by Lee Cronk; Poverty at Work: Office Employment and the Crack Alternative by Philippe Bourgois; Women in the mine by Jessica Smith Rolston; Malawi Versus the World Bank by Sonia Patten; Mother’s Love: Death Without Weeping by Nancy Scheper-Hughes; Family and Kinship in Village India by David W. McCurdy; Polyandry: When Brothers Take a Wife by Melvyn C. Goldstein; Marriage and Adulthood in West Africa by Susanna Fioratta; Negotiating Work and Family in America by Dianna Shandy and Karine Moe; Becoming Muslim in Europe by Mikaela Rogozen-Soltar; Mixed Blood by Jefferson M. Fish; Motorcycles, Membership, and Belonging by David W. McCurdy; Cross-Cultural Law: The Case of an American Gypsey by Anne Sutherland; Law and Order by James P. Spradley and David W. McCurdy; Navigating Nigerian Bureaucracies by Elizabeth A. Eames; Illegal Economics and the Untold Story of the Amputees by Carolyn Nordstrom; The Worst Lover: Boyfriend Spirits in Senegal by Rachel Mueller; Baseball Magic by George Gmelch; Run for the Wall: An American Pilgrimage by Jill Dubisch; Body Ritual Among the Nacirema by Horace Miner; How Sushi Went Global by Theodore C. Bestor; Village Walks: Tourism and Globalization Among the Tharu of Nepal by Arjun Guneratne and Kate Bjork; Nuer Refugees in America by Dianna Shandy; Global Women in the New Economy by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild; Advice for Developers: Peace Corps Problems in Botswana by Hoyt S. Alverson; Medical Anthropology: Improving Nutrition in Malawi by Sonia Patten; Public Interest in Ethnography: Women’s Prisons and Health Care in California by Rachael Stryker; Using Anthropology by David McCurdy Market : This book is a useful resource for anyone studying anthropology.
- Author: James Spradley (Late)
- Publisher: Pearson; 15th edition (February 10, 2015)
- Genre: New, Used & Rental Textbooks, Social Sciences
- ISBN: 978-0205990795
- Dimensions: 2.4 x 7.9 x 9.9 inches
7. Essentials of Biological Anthropology
The most relevant, interactive, and up to date learning experience Larsen helps engage your students with the dynamic field of biological anthropology. New Anthropology Matters videos encourage students to connect anthropological concepts to the world around them. A highly visual learning tool―InQuizitive―offers a fun, hands on way to master course concepts. And rigorously current content immerses students in the most exciting research and discoveries in the field today. Together these provide everything you need to teach a state of the art course that achieves your course goals.
- Author: Clark Spencer Larsen
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Fourth edition (December 1, 2018)
- Genre: Science & Math, Biological Sciences
- ISBN: 978-0393667431
- Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
8. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize • New York Times Bestseller • Over Two Million Copies Sold “One of the most significant projects embarked upon by any intellectual of our generation” (Gregg Easterbrook, New York Times) , Guns, Germs, and Steel presents a groundbreaking, unified narrative of human history. Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? In this “artful, informative, and delightful” (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books ) book, a classic of our time, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond dismantles racist theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for its broadest patterns. The story begins 13,000 years ago, when Stone Age hunter-gatherers constituted the entire human population. Around that time, the developmental paths of human societies on different continents began to diverge greatly. Early domestication of wild plants and animals in the Fertile Crescent, China, Mesoamerica, the Andes, and other areas gave peoples of those regions a head start at a new way of life. But the localized origins of farming and herding proved to be only part of the explanation for their differing fates. The unequal rates at which food production spread from those initial centers were influenced by other features of climate and geography, including the disparate sizes, locations, and even shapes of the continents. Only societies that moved away from the hunter-gatherer stage went on to develop writing, technology, government, and organized religions as well as deadly germs and potent weapons of war. It was those societies, adventuring on sea and land, that invaded others, decimating native inhabitants through slaughter and the spread of disease. A major landmark in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way in which the modern world, and its inequalities, came to be.
- Author: Jared Diamond Ph.D.
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 20th Anniversary edition (March 7, 2017)
- Genre: History, World
- ISBN: 978-0393354324
- Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
9. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English
A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar Why do we say “I am reading a catalog” instead of “I read a catalog”? Why do we say “do” at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history. Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English— and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it’s not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).
- Author: John McWhorter
- Genre: New, Used & Rental Textbooks, Humanities
10. Multicultural Psychology
Multicultural Psychology combines research with actual real narratives to examine multicultural issues and capture the richness of diverse cultures. The text covers compelling topics such as differences in world views, communication, racial and cultural identity, development, racism, and immigration, as well as gender, sexuality, age, and ability. It presents a broad foundation for understanding the issues psychologists address when studying culture and the practical applications of theory in today's society. The personal stories and discussions of current events make the text relatable to students' lives.
- Author: Dr. Jeffery Scott Mio
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 5th edition (January 29, 2019)
- Genre: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Psychology & Counseling
- ISBN: 978-0190854959
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.9 x 7.4 inches