Why the Reckless Survive

Melvin J. Konner, Author Viking Books $18.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-670-82936-1
To his training in anthropology and medicine, Konner adds an inherent skill at writing uncluttered prose, as he discusses such complicated issues as brain surgery, the diet of paleolithic humans, the function of orgasm and the relationship between psychosis and creativity. Calling upon his diverse interests and experiences--as a young anthropologist living among the !Kung San people of the Kalahari Desert, as a father, as a student of neuropsychology--he explores the territory in which cultural conventions and ``hardwired'' behaviors meld. ``Trancendental Medication'' focuses on the shamanistic healing practices of the !Kung; ``Cuisine Sauvage'' details the risks assumed in reporting anthropological projects; ``Everyman'' considers the response of a group of Nigerian tribal elders to the tale of Hamlet. Konner ( Becoming a Doctor ) felicitously combines humor and a facility for viewing material in a wide perspective with the stuff of technology and biological science in these essays of unfailing interest. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-14-015289-0
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