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Life Within Limits: Well-being in a World of Want Paperback – 22 Mar 2011


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"Life Within Limits is a book on Sierra Leonean realities, but it is also a work that tries to understand the human condition more generally. At its center is a trip to Sierra Leone, where Michael Jackson revisits the village where he did fieldwork almost forty years ago. Between the conversations in the 1970s and those of today falls a brutal civil war with immense human suffering, but also births and deaths, young people growing old, some dreams realized, others not. In its rare combination of accumulated knowledge and ongoing critical self-reflection, Life Within Limits is anthropological writing at its best." --oSverker Finnstrom, author of Living with Bad Surroundings: War, History, and Everyday Moments in Northern Uganda

"Michael Jackson has done it again. This is a beautifully observed essay on human well-being and the ethnographic process. There is an elegant blending of ethnography, travel memoir, and philosophical reflection." --Michael Lambek, author of The Weight of the Past: Living with History in Mahajanga, Madagascar

About the Author

Michael Jackson, Distinguished Visiting Professor in World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, is an award-winning poet, novelist, and anthropologist. His many books include "The Palm at the End of the Mind," "Excursions," "In Sierra Leone, "and "At Home in the World," all also published by Duke University Press.

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring work 11 May 2012
By Texas Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Beautifully written, Michael Jackson's book Life Within Limits beckons the reader to join him in his journey back to Sierra Leone where he explores the concept and the philosophies that perpetuate the ideal of well-being. His essay on this often fleeting human condition gracefully combines his knowledge and respect for the people of Sierra Leone and the ethnographic process in a way that reads like a philosophical love letter. Life Within Limits is both introspective and inspiring.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A friend recommended this... 6 July 2013
By Diane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...but I found it tedious and annoying. Put it down when the author got all culturally relativistic on me while describing violence against women.
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