Excellent book! This is a wonderful example of how anthropology, sociology, and religion interact to produce seemingly inexplicable cultural mores.
Interesting book on the anthropology of cults. While providing so interesting insights on various "strange" cults and beliefs he may be pushing the envelope on some of his theories its still well worth reading.
a funny look at myths and another way to see them
Interesting perspective on various human behaviors, rituals and so on. Particularly intriguing perspective on the rise of Christianity, in a historical context. Writing style was a little disjointed for my taste.
The riddles of culture. One of America's leading anthropologists offers solutions to the question of why people behave the way they do. Great book!
Parts of this book are fascinating and parts are boring as hell.
I really enjoyed reading about how not eating cows in India and the Jewish/Moslem edict against eating pork really make excellent, ecological and economical sense. I had wondered about these apparent 'stupid' ideas all my life. Now I am more knowledgeable and content to realize I was the foolish (ignorant) one.
But when he gets into Jesus, witches and some other stuff. I lost interest quickly. Fortunately, this is only in the last third of the book and each topic is a chapter in itself. So you can skip the parts you have no interest in.
Why do Hindus worship cows? Why do Jews and Moslems refuse to eat pork? Why did so many people in post-medieval Europe believe in witches? And why have witches managed to stage such a successful comeback in today's popular culture? Marvin Harris answers these and other perplexing questons about human behavior, showing that no matter how bizarre a people's behavior may seem, it always stems from identifiable and intelligible sources.
Intriguing look at culture with lots of amusing inaccuracies.
A leading anthropologist explains why people behave the way they do.