Blood on the River: James Town This captivating and gritty novel, narrated by Samuel Collier, one of the boys who came to Jamestown, will not just turn kids on to reading, but American history as well. In his clear-eyed, harrowing account of the first year of the Jamestown Settlement, eleven-year-old orphan Samuel accompa The sixty-year-old pilot, Benjamin Malloy, who had been atte
It may also have been our greatest blunder. Astronomy taught us that our earth isn't the center of the universe but merely one of billions of heavenly bodies. From biology we learned that we weren't specially created by God but evolved along with millions of other species.
Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered.
With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence.
At first, the evidence against this revisionist interpretation will strike twentieth century Americans as irrefutable. We're better off in almost every respect than people of the Middle Ages, who in turn had it easier than cavemen, who in turn were better off than apes.
Just count our advantages. We enjoy the most abundant and varied foods, the best tools and material goods, some of the longest and healthiest lives, in history. Most of us are safe from starvation and predators. We get our energy from oil and machines, not from our sweat.
What neo-Luddite among us would trade his life for that of a medieval peasant, a caveman, or an ape? For most of our history we supported ourselves by hunting and gathering: It's a life that philosophers have traditionally regarded as nasty, brutish, and short.
Since no food is grown and little is stored, there is in this view no respite from the struggle that starts anew each day to find wild foods and avoid starving.
Our escape from this misery was facilitated only 10, years ago, when in different parts of the world people began to domesticate plants and animals. The agricultural revolution spread until today it's nearly universal and few tribes of hunter-gatherers survive.
From the progressivist perspective on which I was brought up, to ask "Why did almost all our hunter-gatherer ancestors adopt agriculture? Of course they adopted it because agriculture is an efficient way to get more food for less work. Planted crops yield far more tons per acre than roots and berries.
Just imagine a band of savages, exhausted from searching for nuts or chasing wild animals, suddenly grazing for the first time at a fruit-laden orchard or a pasture full of sheep. How many milliseconds do you think it would take them to appreciate the advantages of agriculture?
The progressivist party line sometimes even goes so far as to credit agriculture with the remarkable flowering of art that has taken place over the past few thousand years. Since crops can be stored, and since it takes less time to pick food from a garden than to find it in the wild, agriculture gave us free time that hunter-gatherers never had.
Thus it was agriculture that enabled us to build the Parthenon and compose the B-minor Mass. While the case for the progressivist view seems overwhelming, it's hard to prove.
|Rent-Seeking, Public Choice, and The Prisoner's Dilemma||Ready to fight back?|
How do you show that the lives of people 10, years ago got better when they abandoned hunting and gathering for farming? Until recently, archaeologists had to resort to indirect tests, whose results surprisingly failed to support the progressivist view. Here's one example of an indirect test: Are twentieth century hunter-gatherers really worse off than farmers?
Scattered throughout the world, several dozen groups of so-called primitive people, like the Kalahari bushmen, continue to support themselves that way.
It turns out that these people have plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors.
For instance, the average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen, 14 hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania.
One Bushman, when asked why he hadn't emulated neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, "Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world? In one study, the Bushmen's average daily food intake during a month when food was plentiful was 2, calories and 93 grams of protein, considerably greater than the recommended daily allowance for people of their size.
It's almost inconceivable that Bushmen, who eat 75 or so wild plants, could die of starvation the way hundreds of thousands of Irish farmers and their families did during the potato famine of the s.Wife of Bath's Tale in Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" Essay - In the satirical comedy The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer introduces Dame Alice (who is known as "The Wife of Bath") as an obstinate, energetic and opinionated woman.
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay - Women in The Wife of Bath Words | 6 Pages Women in Chaucer's The Wife of Bath Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale" is a medieval legend that paints a portrait of strong women finding love and themselves in the direst of situations.
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - The Nun’s Priest’s Tale - The Nun’s Priest’s Tale The tale told by the Nun’s Priest is a fable or story with animals as the main characters and usually ends with a moral of some sort.
The "traditional" view is that Eastern European Jews descend almost entirely from French and German Jews. This essay presents the pros and cons of the controversial "Khazar theory" of Eastern European Jewish origins and will attempt to provide a likely middle-ground solution to the question.
Essay on Variety in The Merchant's Tale Words | 5 Pages. Use of Variety in The Merchant's Tale The Merchant's Tale tells the story of an old man searching for a . Chaucer introduces the reader to the Merchant within ‘The Merchant’s Prologue’ and ‘Portrait of the Merchant’. Chaucer immediately establishes the first person description, which creates the impression that there are more direct opinions in the text.