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16 Best Anthropology Books of All Time

Our goal: Find the best Anthropology books according to the internet (not just one random person's opinion).

    Here's what we did:
  1. Type "best anthropology books" into our search engine and study the top 9 pages.
  2. Add only the books mentioned 2+ times.
  3. Rank the results neatly for you here! 😊
    (It was a lot of work. But hey! That's why we're here, right?)

(Updated 2023)

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  1. 3
  3. 5
  4. 6
  5. 13

    Beyond Culture

    Edward T. Hall

  6. 15

    How to Read Ethnography

    Paloma Gay y Blasco


  • What are the best books on anthropology, and do they cover different aspects like biological anthropology and the social world we live in?

    Yes, there are plenty of great books on anthropology that cover various aspects, including biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and social anthropology. Some of the best books on anthropology include "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond, which explores the evolution of human societies and how geography and natural resources have shaped the world; "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari, which examines the history of our species from the emergence of Homo sapiens in Africa to the present day; and "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" by Anne Fadiman, a compelling story that delves into the clash of two cultures and their differing perspectives on medicine, illness, and healing.

  • Can I find a list of anthropological books that focus on specific areas, like culture or science, rather than being general introductions to the field?

    Absolutely! There are many specialized lists of anthropology books that focus on specific aspects of the discipline, such as cultural anthropology, science, and evolution. Some books that explore cultural anthropology include "The Interpretation of Cultures" by Clifford Geertz and "The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World" by Wade Davis. For those interested in the science and evolution aspects of anthropology, "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins and "The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal" by Jared Diamond are excellent reads. You can also check university websites and anthropologist blogs for more recommendations.

  • Are there any books that provide a general overview of anthropology for someone who is new to the field or wants to read about it casually?

    Yes, there are several books that provide a good introduction to anthropology for those who are new to the field or just interested in learning more. "Anthropology: A Beginner's Guide" by Joy Hendry and Simon Underdown offers a clear and engaging overview of the discipline, while "Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology" by Thomas Hylland Eriksen delves into various anthropological topics, such as culture, society, and the impact of globalization. Another great option is "How to Think Like an Anthropologist" by Matthew Engelke, which provides a glimpse into the minds of anthropologists and the questions they ask about the world around them.

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