Darkness in El Dorado - Archived Document
Anthropological Niche of Douglas W. Hume
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Internet Source: Amazon.com
Source URL: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393049221/qid%3D970518689/002-8298700-5984021


Amazon.com: Editorial Reviews: Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon

Leslie Sponsel, University of Hawaii
In many respects, the most important book ever written about the Yanomami. . . . It candidly and systematically exposes with ample documentation the data, interpretations, and ethics of the anthropologists who constructed and publicized the fierce image of the Yanomami. . . . It is no exaggeration to say that this is by far the ugliest affair in the entire history of anthropology.

Book Description
What Guns, Germs, and SteelM did for colonial history, this book will do for present-day anthropology. Darkness in El Dorado is an explosive account of how ruthless journalists, self-serving anthropologists, and obsessed scientists placed one of the Amazon basin's oldest tribes on the cusp of extinction. First coming to prominence in the 1960s, the "savage" Yanomami Indians were the subject of anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon's multi-million-copy bestseller Yanomamo: The Fierce People and many award-winning films. These exemplars of human ferocity, however, did not arrive at such dispositions naturally. Patrick Tierney describes how the Yanomami's internecine warfare was triggered by repeated visits of leading anthropologists from around the world as well as by the Atomic Energy Commission, which wished to use Yanomami blood in radiation studies in the mid-1960s. This is an epic, compelling work, sure to shake the very foundations of American anthropology.

About the Author
Patrick Tierney spent ten years researching and writing Darkness in El Dorado . His first book, The Highest Altar , will be the subject of a National Geographic TV documentary in 2000.