Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? THE WORLD UNTIL YESTERDAY I was underwhelmed by this book. The voices of traditional societies ultimately matter because they can still remind us that there are indeed alternatives, other ways of orienting human beings in social, spiritual and ecological space. In The World Until Yesterday, Jared Diamond pays heed to traditional ideas, from which our 'weird' world could learn. Long winded but thorough. As an ethnographic filmmaker and as an anthropological mythopoeicist, who believes in the power of a good storyline, I enjoy this style, but as a theoretical anthropologist I doubt its methodological validity. But the family and social aspects of raising children and aging were more along the lines I was wanting to read. It would be so much nicer to praise and compliment Diamond's efforts here but I'd be lying if I told you anything other than "this was a painful experience". There is a lot of long-winded explanation of things that any high school student probably knows (languages are disappearing - people are fat - religious people sometimes go to war!) After three weeks on loan from the library, I finally accepted that I just wasn't engaged enough to finish the book. They remind us that our way is not the only way. I love this man for teaching us so well, even though he talks about a part of the world in which I have had no interest. Responsibility in the U.S. has been taken from the person acting and has been placed on the owner of the land or the builder of the house. Yet for nearly all of it. If you don't think you like those subjects, you might still like this because it is wonderfully well-written and very enlightening. Jared Diamond is quite famous for his well-argued "geographical hypothesis" for helping to explain global (continental) inequality (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies). His personal experience of indigenous peoples outside of New Guinea is limited, as apparently is his knowledge of the anthropological literature; the bibliography of The World Until Yesterday is meagre. In The World Until Yesterday Jared Diamond compares the traditional and urban societies, and what those societies can learn from each other. Jared Diamond: we have much to learn from traditional societies - video, Science Weekly podcast: Jared Diamond on traditional societies, Jared Diamond in row over claim tribal peoples live in 'state of constant war'. In not one of the hundreds of Aboriginal dialects and languages was there a word for time. In place of technological wizardry, they invented a matrix of connectivity, an intricate web of social relations based on more than 100 named kin relationships. The thought that the hundreds of distinct tribes of Australia might simply represent different ways of being, embodying the consequences of unique sets of intellectual and spiritual choices, does not seem to have occurred to him. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. It touches on a lot of interesting subjects, but avoids discussing many of the most thought-provoking implications. The theme of this book is the differences between WEIRD (Western, educated, industrial, rich and democratic) modern cultures and tradition human cultures. Advanced civilisations arose where the environment allowed for plant domestication, leading to the generation of surplus and population growth, which in turn led to political centralisation and social stratification. It has sections of research picked almost randomly in support of alternately prudent and ridiculous opinions. First published on Wed 9 Jan 2013 05.22 EST. Pre-publication book reviews and features keeping readers and industry influencers in the know since 1933. Who decided what was to be known? A pool has to be fenced so that it’s not an ‘attractive nuisance.’ Most New Guineans don’t have pools, but even the rivers that we frequented didn’t have signs saying ‘Jump at your own risk,’ because it’s obvious. This change in the structure of society has resulted in a dramatic alterations in lifestyle. ), Reading this book I remembered why I liked. Fascinating book comparing the world of hunter-gatherers with our own. In the grand continuum of popular science books, it's much closer to the "pop" end, and even given the fact that it's impossible to satisfy all types of popular science readers, I have no idea who the target audience is supposed to be. This reminds me”, Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction (2013). It is a good book and I recommend it. It's heavy on analysis, yet it doesn't have many clear prescriptions at all. It follows, as Boas believed, that all cultures share essentially the same mental acuity, the same raw genius. This is the most personal of Diamond's books, with many anecdotes from his work in New Guinea. However, the findings in this book pale in comparison to the previous one. It touches on a lot of interesting subjects, but avoids discussing many of the most thought-provoking implications. Diamond keeps asking, "What ideas and practices can we learn and adopt from traditional societies?" His conclusions are, You need to know right up front that I am going to really rag on this book. Through a comparison between traditional societies and our own, Diamond considers whether there are forms of social organisation and values from the past which would be useful for us to adopt today. But this is one I may have to revisit later. As in his previous books Diamond's writing is excellent, well thought out and very readable for both the professional scholar and the interested layman. at Amazon.com. The whole experience provoked him to re-examine the idea of perceived risk vs. actual risk in different societies, and to adjust his behaviour in his own life. His insights open cracks in my brain that have been sealed with the creosote of intellectual arrogance-- false assumptions. The entire purpose of humanity was not to improve anything; it was to engage in the ritual and ceremonial activities deemed to be essential for the maintenance of the world precisely as it was at the moment of creation. In The World Until Yesterday, Diamond cements his position as the most considered, courageous and sensitive teller of the human story writing today. And he devotes two chapters to the dangers inherent in indigenous life, which lead to a chapter on religion, for "our traditional constant search for the causes of danger may have contributed to religion's origins". Scopri The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? The rest of this review covers why. ... Book Review: The World Until Yesterday Within a relatively short timeframe humans have gone from living as hunter/gatherers in small tribes of a few hundred individuals, to agrarian communities comprised of thousands, to city-states of many millions with a broad division of labor and a representative form of government. Wed 9 Jan 2013 05.22 EST He confronts head on the issues that haunt the romantics who want to Wade Davis takes issue with the whole idea See 1 question about The World Until Yesterday…, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Good Minds Suggest—Jared Diamond's Favorite Books About Traditional Societies. Extremely disappointing. "Guns, Germs and Steel" is Dr. Diamond's masterpiece and this book augments what we learned from it. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Is it really possible to dismiss God in a chapter? The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? Extremely disappointing. Start by marking “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Any particular section recommendations from those who have read it? The triumph of secular materialism may be the conceit of modernity, but it does very little to unveil the essence of culture or to account for its diversity and complexity. ’ s subtitle, What Can we Learn from Traditional societies? very twinkly, high-in-the-sky stars the features our... Nonfiction Can be, I found it a little repetitive and not the world until yesterday reviews revolutionary of each why and great... 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