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  • Orion

New Book: Hunting - A Cultural History

See details below on a new book written by current and former Orion board members!


A Cultural History

Jan E. Dizard and Mary Zeiss Stange

The history of hunting, from Stone Age hunter-gatherers to today’s sport hunters.

Hunting has a long history, beginning with our hominid ancestors. The invention of the spear allowed early humans to graduate from scavenging to actual hunting. The famous cave paintings at Lascaux show a meticulous knowledge of animal behavior and anatomy that only a hunter would have. This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series traces the evolution of hunting, from Stone Age hunting and gathering to today’s regulated sport hunting.

Humans have been hunting since we became

human—but did hunting make us human? The authors

consider and question the “hunting hypothesis of human

origins,” noting that according to this theory, “hunting”

meant hunting by men. They explore hunting in the

Stone Age and how, beginning some ten thousand years

ago, the spread of agriculture led to the emergence of

empires and attempts by elites to monopolize hunting.

They examine the democratization of hunting in the

American colonies and how hunters decimated, but

then, in the twentieth century, rallied to save game

animals from extinction. They describe how some

European and postcolonial societies have managed

wildlife and hunting, consider the difficulties of living

with abundant wildlife—even as many nongame species

are disappearing—and trace the implications of the

increasing participation of women in hunting for the

future of hunting.

Jan E. Dizard is Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of American

Culture Emeritus at Amherst College. He is the author of books and

articles on the changing family, race relations, and, of particular relevance

to hunting, articles on environmental policy, hunting ethics, and wildlife.

Mary Zeiss Stange is Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies and

Religion at Skidmore College. She is internationally recognized as the

authority on women and hunting, and specializes in writing and speaking

about women, guns, hunting, and ecofeminism.


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