Reddit Reddit reviews Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States

We found 7 Reddit comments about Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

American History
Native American History
Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States
Yale University Press
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7 Reddit comments about Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States:

u/amnsisc · 23 pointsr/Economics

I think that more so has to do with the origin of the criticism--UMass is a heterodox school, Harvard is one of the premier economics schools in the world by prestige (if you can trust rankings, #2, but that's bubba meisa).

Additionally, the finding in the R&R paper was extremely politically convenient at a time when some, including well respected thinkers like Stiglitz, Krugman, Akerloff, Schiller, Summers, were calling for a return to a more a fiscal-based anti-crisis policy.

Had their paper not come out, some other talking head would have been found to justify the austerity claim (not that the R&R paper even really does justify austerity--the issue is long term average debt, balanced over the business cycle, not its static measurement at any given moment), which occurs regularly.

Also, the more intense your prestige, the less likely you are to publicly fess up. You see this in other disciplines. Chomsky, who, by any metric, is an incredibly intelligent man, who changes the conclusions of his theories regularly, will, nonetheless, never own up to their being issues in generativism generally & the minimalist program, specifically.

It really may be a Harvard & MIT disease. Steven Pinker was savaged by Taleb's statistical analysis, not to mention substantial rebuttals from anthropology, sociology, poli sci & economics which disputed his claims (notably everyone from Douglas P Fry to James Scott to Jared Diamond to John Gray disputes it, despite their lack of agreement on anything else)--but he only ever doubles down. Ditto for Pinker & other talking heads on the issues of adaptationism in evolution and genocentrism & other issues in biology generally. Larry Summers (who, academically within econ actually has some integrity) famously gave a talk about differences between men & women's career outcomes--he cited someone for his claim who was literally in the audience at the talk and during the Q&A said he mis-interpreted the data. He recast himself as a martyr for free speech later, even as this was impertinent to the subject at hand.

u/mischiffmaker · 8 pointsr/AskAnthropology

I'm currently reading a book, "Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States" by James C. Scott, which might interest you.

He looks at early state formation, and how we only ever hear about what happened from inside the state, and never from those who lived outside it.

So he examines what it meant to live both inside and outside a state, how long it took for states to develop, what limited them, and where everybody else was while that happened, along with a different take on what's meant by 'collapse.'

u/jollybumpkin · 4 pointsr/Anthropology

I recommend Against the Grain: A deep history of the earliest states. By James C. Scott. You'll learn what archaeologists know about these questions, how they figure it out, what the evidence is, and so on. Here's the link to the Amazon listing.

/u/brigantus provides a very good answer in this thread that corresponds pretty closely to this book. As far as I know, there is no competing theory, although the experts still debate some of the details.

u/estearanha · 2 pointsr/LibertarianSocialism

Take a look at:

u/candleflame3 · 2 pointsr/collapse

>it isn't a utopia as you say.

I didn't say it was a utopia. I said:

>Where you could casually throw out a net a couple times a day and immediately catch fish. Or spend a couple hours in the bushes gathering up enough nuts and berries for the next 3 days. Because it was that abundant. We assume that hunter-gatherers worked terribly hard just to subsist, but a lot of the time it was pretty chill.

Which is true.

Are you sure YOU can read?

As /u/danachos says, the horribleness of the hunter-gatherer way of life is a myth created to justify taking their lands and destroying their culture.

I've been studying this, as a layperson, for going on 30 years. I'm not going to link to every book I've read and every documentary I've watched. The info is there - look it up for yourself.

I'm currently reading a new book that updates a lot of these ideas based on more recent discoveries.

The upshot is that, then as now, HGs were not in a great hurry to abandon their way of life because it worked pretty well for them.

I've also been fortunate enough to spend some time with indigenous Australians and learn a bit about their ways. They had a great life! They certainly were not waiting until some other group showed up to teach them another way. And their life really was exactly how I described: Coastal people could catch fish and seafood easily, literally just paddle out for 20 minutes, spear something or scoop it out - boom, lunch sorted. In some areas they can still do this.

u/okholdmybeer · 1 pointr/history

These supersized countries need to support themselves with taxes. Traditionally these taxes were not money but grain; wheat, rice corn. These grains are easily seized by the collectors sent out by the kingdom as they have very set ripening seasons. Sorghum in the tropics can be harvested any time. (read 'Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States'). This made it difficult for tax collectors to support large kindoms, as the farmers could vary their ripening times, making collecting forays less productive than in India, Europe, East Asia and the Americas.

u/CytheYounger · 1 pointr/CanadaPolitics

His Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work is an excellent book as well, just making my way through Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States , I think it's up there with Seeing as his best work in my opinion.