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on 7 August 1997
In 1993 Napoleon Chagnon--world-famous ethnographer of the Yanomami Indians--was forcibly
expelled from Venezuela. If you, Dear Reader, happen to be seeking an articulate explanation of
the events leading up to his deportation (as was I), you won't find it here. Frank Salamone, an
anthropologist and expert on missionary groups, sets out to resolve the dispute between Chagnon
and the missionaries who were in some way responsible for his deportation. Unfortunately, the book is a copyeditor's nightmare--crawling with errors in spelling, syntax, grammar and
punctuation, along with thousands of typographical mistakes which make it difficult to read and
sometimes incomprehensible (e.g."Chagnon...desires to behind this extraordinarily ugly discussion."). Most of the references cited aren't even included in the bibliography. Salamone himself is a pathetic writer, stumbling through a muddled summary of Yanomami ethnography and blurting out the lessons he learned during his ten-day visit to southern Venezuela. And in the end, the reader is left wondering what happened--the incidents that^M resulted in Chagnon's explusion are never revealed, and Salamone's final remarks are so tangled^M that you can only guess at what he's trying to say. The effect is that of a term paper written at 4^M a.m. by a drunk and exhausted sophomore who doesn't know the difference between 'their' and^M 'there'. And although many Ph.D.'s probably don't--or don't care--the University Press of America^M should hire a proofreader who does.
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on 20 November 1998
Whoever the other guy that wrote a review of this book must be a drunken sophomore himself. I personally found this to be the most interesting book I read this year. Salamone is a fantastic author, and I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Yanomami. If there are typos and such, that is not the fault of the author. Many of those errors occur at the publishers. A manuscript can come to the publisher in perfect condition, then get screwed up there. This is a great book by a well-established author and is well worth the price!
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