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Title:At the Dawn of Tyranny - The Origins of Individualism, Political Oppression, and the State
This is an original and provocative work of popular anthopology that explores one of the central problems of human existence - the origins of political tyranny. Sagan uses the accounts of such 19th century explorers as Stanley, Speke and cook to analyse three cultures that these men found - Buganda, Hawaiian, and the Tahitian. In these societies he found authoritarian monarchs, an aristocractic social structure, a complete legal system, a permanent army, bards and priests. Sagan looks for ways to understand how the confining circle of the primitive kinship system was broken so that the course of civilization as we know it could begin, and what price was paid for this advance. He links what happened in those early cultures to current problems in our society. This is a book of many fascinations. It uses history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and literature to provide an illuminating new context from which to view both our past and present conditions...
Second hand Hardback