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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, challenging and raising relevant questions, 24 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Mountain People (Paperback)
The original came out in '72. I read it first in '75 and saw a stage production called 'The Ik' in '76. Re-reading it now in 2012 has only confirmed the views I felt about it when I first read it. A stunning book which forces the reader to think, to question to compare and look at one's own society. I think Mr. Turnbulll may have started out with an idea of an anthropology book but what he ended with is a series of observations of the fragmentation of a society when the basis for it is cut away. The Ik were a hunter-gatherer society that were displaced from their traditional grounds and forced to become agriculturalists. When famine struck the whole basis of 'humanity' might be considered, from a present western view, to have eroded to nothing and views of altruism became displaced with selfishness - where self-interest alone became valued and the weak at both age scales were left to fend for themselves. What makes the book is Colin Turnbull's questionning on how different the Ik are from us - how far are we removed from them? If we faced famine how soon before altruism failed, how deep is the view of 'altruism' and 'humanity' within our own society.
A truly deep and fascinating book which does like all great books should do - to stimulate, to make one ask questions and contemplate on the writing raised by the author.
A stunning book which has stood up to the test of time. The Black Book compared to The Forest People.
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