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The world until yesterday : what can we learn from traditional societies? / Jared Diamond.

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Material Type
Book
Author
Diamond, Jared M.
Publication Info.
New York : Viking, [2012]
Publication Info.
©2012

Details

Description
xi, 499 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 471-481) and index.
Contents
PROLOGUE: AT THE AIRPORT: An airport scene -- Why study traditional societies? -- States -- Types of traditional societies -- Approaches, causes, and sources -- A small book about a big subject -- Plan of the book -- PT. I: SETTING THE STAGE BY DIVIDING SPACE. Chapter 1. FRIENDS, ENEMIES, STRANGERS, AND TRADERS: A boundary -- Mutually exclusive territories -- Non-exclusive land use -- Friends, enemies, and strangers -- First contacts -- Trade and traders -- Market economies -- Traditional forms of trade -- Traditional trade items -- Who trades what? -- Tiny nations -- PT. 2: PEACE AND WAR. Chapter 2. COMPENSATION FOR THE DEATH OF A CHILD: An accident -- A ceremony -- What if...? -- What the state did -- New Guinea compensation -- Life-long relationships -- Other non-state societies -- State authority -- State civil justice -- Defects in state civil justice -- State criminal justice -- Restorative justice -- Advantages and their price -- Chapter 3. A SHORT CHAPTER, ABOUT A TINY WAR: The Dani War -- The war's time-line -- The war's death toll -- Chapter 4. A LONGER CHAPTER, ABOUT MANY WARS: Definitions of war -- Sources of information -- Forms of traditional warfare -- Mortality rates -- Similarities and differences -- Ending warfare -- Effects of European contact -- Warlike animals, peaceful peoples -- Motives for traditional war -- Ultimate reasons -- Whom do people fight? -- Forgetting Pearl Harbor -- PT. 3: YOUNG AND OLD. Chapter 4. BRING UP CHILDREN: Comparisons of child-rearing -- Childbirth -- Infanticide -- Weaning and birth interval -- On-demand nursing -- Infant-adult contact -- Fathers and allo-parents -- Responses to crying infants -- Physical punishment -- Child autonomy -- Multi-age playgroups -- Child play and education -- Their kids and our kids -- Chapter 6. THE TREATMENT OF OLD PEOPLE: CHERISH, ABANDON, OR KILL? The elderly -- Expectations about eldercare -- Why abandon or kill? -- Usefulness of old people -- Society's values -- Society's rules -- Better or worse today? -- What to do with older people? -- PT. 4: DANGER AND RESPONSE. Chapter 7. CONSTRUCTIVE PARANOIA: Attitudes towards danger -- A night visit -- A boat accident -- Just a stick in the ground -- Taking risks -- Risks and talkativeness -- Chapter 8. LIONS AND OTHER DANGERS: Dangers of traditional life -- Accidents -- Vigilance -- Human violence -- Diseases -- Responses to diseases -- Starvation -- Unpredictable food shortages -- Scatter your land -- Seasonality and food storage -- Diet broadening -- Aggregation and dispersal -- Responses to danger -- PT. 5: RELIGION, LANGUAGE, AND HEALTH. Chapter 9. WHAT ELECTRIC EELS TELL US ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF RELIGION: Questions about religion -- Definitions of religion -- Functions and electric eels -- The search for causal explanations -- Supernatural beliefs -- Religion's function of explanation -- Defusing anxiety -- Providing comfort -- Organization and obedience -- Codes of behavior towards strangers -- Justifying war -- Badges of commitment -- Measures of religious success -- Changes in religion's functions -- Chapter 10. SPEAKING IN MANY TONGUES: Multilingualism -- The world's language total -- How languages evolve -- Geography of language diversity -- Traditional multilingualism -- Benefits of bilingualism -- Alzheimer's Disease -- Vanishing languages -- How languages disappear -- Are minority languages harmful? -- Why preserve languages? -- How can we protect languages? -- Chapter 11. SALT, SUGAR, FAT, AND SLOTH: Non-communicable diseases -- Our salt intake -- Salt and blood pressure -- Causes of hypertension -- Dietary sources of salt -- Diabetes -- Types of diabetes -- Genes, environment, and diabetes -- Pima Indians and Nauru Islanders -- Diabetes in India -- Benefits of genes for diabetes -- Why is diabetes low in Europeans? -- The future of non-communicable diseases -- EPILOGUE: AT ANOTHER AIRPORT: From the jungle to the 405 -- Advantages of the modern world -- Advantages of the traditional world -- What can we learn?
Summary
Diamond reveals how tribal societies offer an extraordinary window into how our ancestors lived for millions of years -- until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms -- and provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature.
Subject
Dani (New Guinean people) -- History.
Dani (New Guinean people) -- Social life and customs.
Dani (New Guinean people) -- Cultural assimilation.
Social evolution.
Social change -- Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea -- Social life and customs.
ISBN
9780670024810
0670024813
9780670785896 export ed.
067078589X export ed.