The World Until Yesterday

What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

By Jared M. Diamond
(Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670024810, 512pp.)

Publication Date: December 31, 2012

List Price: $36.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.

Go


Description
Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence. Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us that it was only yesterday--in evolutionary time--when everything changed and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions.
"The World Until Yesterday" provides a mesmerizing firsthand picture of the human past as it had been for millions of years--a past that has mostly vanished--and considers what the differences between that past and our present mean for our lives today.
This is Jared Diamond's most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others. Diamond doesn't romanticize traditional societies--after all, we are shocked by some of their practices--but he finds that their solutions to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. A characteristically provocative, enlightening, and entertaining book, "The World Until Yesterday" will be essential and delightful reading.



About the Author
Jared Diamond is the author of the bestselling Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel. A professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, he has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is a MacArthur Fellow and was awarded the National Medal of Science.


NPR
Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013

In his new book, The World Until Yesterday, Jared Diamond argues that traditional societies have much to teach the modern world about different ways to eat and stay fit, and how to raise children and resolve conflicts. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

Indie Bookstore Finder
EBbooks and EReaders
Find great gifts: Signed books
Link to IndieBound






Update Profile