COWS, PIGS, WAR AND WITCHES: The Riddles of Cultures [Marvin Harris] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches has ratings and reviews. Paquita Maria said: There are several reasons why I wasn’t going to review this book. On. Pig farming was a threat to the integrity of the basic cultural and natural But cows, pigs, wars, or witches, the answers to our riddles do not lie.

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It turns out the chubby animals compete with humans for the same foods. But Harris, a Marxist by conviction, necessarily must see a materialistic explanation. My problem with the book is not the inferences made about certain practices, but the way in which they are discussed.

The threatened defenders of Church and State needed to cook up some kind of distraction that would divide the population, while authorizing to executions of revolutionary leaders who were mostly female.

He remained a prominent figure until he was arrested on rape allegations, and became a sort of hermetic guru while in prison. But only at the State or Imperial level is this hierarchy enforced not by prestige but by force of arms, to stop the poor and working classes from revolting and sharing the fruits of their labor.

Today, while lamenting the sidelining of fiction in favor of informational texts to the exclusion of just about anything else in English classes with a friend, I mentioned that no one had ever learned to love to read by reading a textbook. I enjoyed Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches because it gave me plenty to think about.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Anyway, this book has been sitting on my “to read” list all this time. The presented theory as to why pigs were regarded as unclean in the old Judeo-Christian tradition is built on the agricultural needs of the Biblical middle east.


Grand in its efforts on a both geographical and temporal scale.

Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris

Unfortunately, like an evolutionary biologist trying to explain why humans have pinky toes, he comes across as making up just-so stories. We are building it, one day at a time. Sep 26, Bookwormdragon rated it really liked it Shelves: The or converted most of the tribe, because who wouldn’t mouth the appropriate words for a taste of that sweet, sweet cargo?

Se aprende una barbaridad. Why do Hindus not eat cows, while Jews avoid pork instead? Harris is especially good at explaining how societies create elaborate rituals to avoid harming the natural witchfs they depend on, which clarifies the Middle Eastern ban on pig products. Apr 14, Kari rated it did not like it. I really like the author’s perspective that cultural behavior can be explained by real and concrete things.

Along with Michael Harner, Harris is one of the scholars most associated with the suggestion that Aztec cannibalism occurred, and was the result of protein deficiency in the Aztec diet. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. In this case, he’s a s academic.

If I hadn’t read the last few chapters, I’d have said this was 4. I won’t give any spoilers but I want to say, if such a strong ambition to search for truth doesn’t deserve respect, thd I don’t what does. It also influences men as to the importance of recreation or religion, influences women about the priority of career or childbearing, and has a powerful withes on how we approach procreation and moral issues.

Table of Contents for: Cows, pigs, wars & witches : the riddles

This book challenges those who argue that cylture can change the world by changing the way people think. That came to an end when I realized I wasn’t extroverted enough. Trivia About Cows, Pigs, Wars, The most provocative sections of the book deal with revolutionary movements that fought witchess this liberation, within the context of the religious wars of Biblical Judea and Late Medieval Europe.


Over the course of his professional life, Harris drew both a loyal following and a considerable amount of criticism.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress. Why do Hindus love cows? But only at the State or Imperial level is this hierarchy enforced not by prestige but by force of arms, to stop the poor and working classes from revolting and sharing the fruits of their labor. I took some anthropology courses in college, but contrary to the opinions of some of the undeservedly arrogant, Newsies-hatted forever-virgin dudes in my Philosophy I course, that doesn’t make me an expert or automatically mean anyone cares what I have to say loudly, and with so much “ergo”, so much “thusly” on the subject.

I was originally majoring in cultural anthropology. The last few chapters, however, feel like a critical rant by an academic and he certainly was one who’s ridrles on his high horse, gone on a pivs smug tangent, kf lost the thread and the reader altogether. This logic is then extended to elucidate why the institution of warfare probably first arose in areas where it’s difficult to feed large numbers of people. How do you explain the concept of the Messiah? He looks for answers to these questions in the everyday lives and concerns of the people that entertain these beliefs.

A very fascinating read. Jews, Muslims, and early Christians adapted the view that swine is filthy and inconsumable due to pigs’ similar, competing nutritional needs to humans. Or, in a secular sense, who are the people concerned for the poor majority that suffers unnecessarily in our own time?