Amazonia: Man and Culture in a Counterfeit Paradise, Revised Edition (Revised)


Product Details

Smithsonian Books (DC)
Publish Date
5.42 X 8.4 X 0.59 inches | 0.62 pounds

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About the Author

Betty J. Meggers is a research anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Instituion, and an honorary fellow of the Association for Tropical Biology.


Amazonia provides the most comprehensive anthropological discussion so far of the Amazon basin as a human habitat. . . . This book specifies variables influencing cultural adaptation in the Amazon basin and presents a set of general principles constituting a theory of cultural evolution. In two descriptive sections of the book, Meggers analyzes the selective pressures in two distinct geographical zones: the terra firme or unflooded land, and the várzea or periodic floodplain. (Ellen B. Bass Science)

Meggers has marshalled an impressive argument on the ecological imperatives of a truly unique Amazonia. . . . We are given a well-written and quite thorough description of the physical features of the two zones and a series of ethnographic vignettes to illustrate the action of cultural adaptation. (Man)

An excellent, concise statement of the facts of the ecology of humid tropical lowlands, systematic descriptions of a number of widely spread Amazonian cultures, and a skillful integration of these two bodies of knowledge. The result is a demonstration that cultures are as surely subject to and molded by natural selection and environmental characteristics as are species of plants and animals. . . . Amazonia will inevitably be a basic text for the field of tropical ecology. (F. R. Fosberg Ecology)