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.