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15 Best Best Anthropology Books

Discover the top Anthropology books that delve into the fascinating study of human societies, cultures, and behaviors. Expand your knowledge today!


Born to Run

by Christopher McDougall

4.7 (16721 reviews)

What is Born to Run about?

In this captivating non-fiction book, the author embarks on a quest to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara, an indigenous Mexican tribe known for their extraordinary running abilities. McDougall explores the science behind endurance running and delves into the captivating story of a legendary race that brings together the world's greatest long-distance runners. Filled with adventure, inspiration, and fascinating insights, this book reveals the hidden world of superathletes and the power of human potential.

Who should read Born to Run

  • Fitness enthusiasts looking for inspiration and insights into long-distance running.

  • Adventure seekers interested in exploring the world of indigenous running cultures.

  • Individuals curious about the science and history behind human endurance.



by Yuval Noah Harari

4.6 (94858 reviews)

What is Sapiens about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author takes readers on a captivating journey through the history of humankind. From the emergence of Homo sapiens to the present day, Harari explores the key milestones that shaped our species, including the agricultural revolution, the rise of empires, and the impact of technology. With a blend of science, anthropology, and philosophy, "Sapiens" offers a compelling and insightful perspective on the past, present, and future of humanity.

Who should read Sapiens

  • History enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive understanding of human evolution.

  • Philosophers and thinkers exploring the origins of human existence.

  • Students and academics studying anthropology and the development of civilizations.


A Short History of Nearly Everything

by Bill Bryson

4.6 (14185 reviews)

What is A Short History of Nearly Everything about?

"A Short History of Nearly Everything" is a captivating exploration of the scientific discoveries that have shaped our understanding of the world. Written by a renowned author, this book takes readers on a journey through time, unraveling the mysteries of the universe, the origins of life, and the fascinating stories of the scientists who made groundbreaking contributions. With wit and clarity, it presents complex concepts in an accessible manner, making it a must-read for anyone curious about the wonders of our existence.

Who should read A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • Science enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive and engaging overview of the universe.

  • Curious individuals eager to explore the wonders of our world.

  • Students and educators looking for an accessible science reference book.


The Righteous Mind

by Jonathan Haidt

4.6 (7574 reviews)

What is The Righteous Mind about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author delves into the complex world of human morality, exploring why people with different political and religious beliefs often find themselves at odds. Drawing on extensive research and psychological insights, Haidt uncovers the underlying factors that shape our moral judgments and reveals how our innate sense of right and wrong can lead to deep divisions in society. A compelling exploration of the roots of moral diversity and the challenges it poses for understanding and bridging ideological divides.

Who should read The Righteous Mind

  • Individuals interested in understanding the psychological roots of political and religious divisions.

  • Social scientists and researchers studying moral psychology and human behavior.

  • Anyone seeking insights into bridging ideological gaps and fostering empathy.


The Sixth Extinction

by Elizabeth Kolbert

4.6 (6351 reviews)

What is The Sixth Extinction about?

"The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" by Elizabeth Kolbert explores the alarming reality of Earth's ongoing sixth mass extinction event. Through captivating storytelling and scientific research, Kolbert delves into the devastating impact of human activities on the planet's biodiversity. From the extinction of various species to the potential consequences for humanity, this thought-provoking book sheds light on the urgent need for environmental awareness and action to prevent further irreversible damage to our fragile ecosystems.

Who should read The Sixth Extinction

  • Environmentalists and conservationists interested in understanding the current state of biodiversity loss.

  • Science enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive exploration of the Earth's past mass extinctions.

  • Policy makers and educators looking for insights into the consequences of human activities on the planet.



by Rutger Bregman

4.6 (6318 reviews)

What is Humankind about?

In this thought-provoking book, Rutger Bregman challenges the prevailing belief that humans are inherently selfish and driven by self-interest. Drawing on a wealth of historical evidence and psychological research, he presents a compelling argument that humans are fundamentally good and cooperative beings. Bregman explores how this understanding can reshape our society, offering a hopeful vision for a more compassionate and empathetic future.

Who should read Humankind

  • Anyone seeking a fresh perspective on human nature and society.

  • Social scientists and historians interested in reevaluating humanity's potential.

  • Individuals looking for inspiration and hope in turbulent times.



by Edward W. Said

4.6 (1726 reviews)

What is Orientalism about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author delves into the complex relationship between the West and the East, exploring the concept of Orientalism. Through meticulous analysis, Said examines how Western societies have constructed and perpetuated distorted images and stereotypes of the East, shaping their own identity in the process. With a critical lens, he challenges prevailing narratives and offers a compelling argument for the need to reevaluate and redefine our understanding of the East-West dynamic.

Who should read Orientalism

  • Scholars and students of postcolonial studies and cultural criticism.

  • Individuals interested in understanding the historical and cultural impact of Western representations of the East.

  • Readers seeking a critical analysis of Orientalist discourse and its implications.


Guns, Germs, and Steel

by Jared Diamond

4.5 (10149 reviews)

What is Guns, Germs, and Steel about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author explores the factors that have shaped the destinies of different human societies throughout history. From the impact of geographical advantages to the spread of deadly diseases, Diamond delves into the complex interplay of guns, germs, and steel that have determined the rise and fall of civilizations. With a multidisciplinary approach, this book offers a compelling analysis of why some societies have thrived while others have faltered.

Who should read Guns, Germs, and Steel

  • History enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive understanding of human civilization.

  • Anthropology students exploring the factors shaping societies throughout history.

  • Global citizens interested in the origins of inequality and cultural development.


Sex at Dawn

by Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jethá

4.5 (3286 reviews)

What is Sex at Dawn about?

"Sex at Dawn" explores the origins of human sexuality and challenges traditional notions of monogamy. Drawing on anthropology, biology, and psychology, the book argues that humans are not naturally inclined towards lifelong monogamy, but rather have a history of promiscuity and non-monogamous relationships. It delves into the evolutionary reasons behind our sexual behavior and offers insights into how this understanding can shape modern relationships.

Who should read Sex at Dawn

  • Couples seeking a deeper understanding of human sexuality and relationships.

  • Anthropology enthusiasts curious about the origins of human mating.

  • Individuals questioning the traditional norms of monogamy and fidelity.


Because Internet

by Gretchen McCulloch

4.4 (811 reviews)

What is Because Internet about?

In this insightful book, the author explores the fascinating evolution of language in the digital age. From emojis to memes, Gretchen McCulloch delves into the impact of internet communication on our linguistic norms. With a blend of linguistic analysis and personal anecdotes, she uncovers the new rules and nuances that shape our online conversations. "Because Internet" is a captivating exploration of how language adapts and thrives in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Who should read Because Internet

  • Language enthusiasts seeking to explore the impact of internet communication.

  • Linguistics students and researchers interested in digital language evolution.

  • Social media users curious about the influence of internet language.


The Battle for Christmas

by Stephen Nissenbaum, Ph.D.

4.4 (238 reviews)

What is The Battle for Christmas about?

In this captivating book, a renowned historian delves into the origins and evolution of Christmas, unraveling its social and cultural significance throughout history. From its humble beginnings as a raucous and rowdy festival to its transformation into a cherished holiday, Nissenbaum explores the battles fought over Christmas traditions, revealing how it has been shaped by religious, political, and economic forces. A fascinating exploration of the holiday's past, this book offers a fresh perspective on our beloved Christmas traditions.

Who should read The Battle for Christmas

  • History enthusiasts interested in the origins and evolution of Christmas traditions.

  • Sociologists and cultural anthropologists studying the significance of holidays.

  • Individuals curious about the social and cultural impact of Christmas.



by Bill McKibben

4.3 (366 reviews)

What is Falter about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author delves into the pressing issues of our time, exploring the threats posed by climate change and technological advancements. Bill McKibben raises crucial questions about the future of humanity, examining the consequences of our actions and the potential for a faltering human game. With a blend of scientific analysis and philosophical reflections, this book serves as a wake-up call, urging readers to consider the urgent need for change in order to secure a sustainable future.

Who should read Falter

  • Environmentalists and climate change activists seeking a comprehensive analysis.

  • Policy makers and scientists interested in the future of humanity.

  • Individuals concerned about the long-term survival of our planet.


The Story of Human Language

by Dr. John McWhorter, Ph.D.

3.9 (35 reviews)

What is The Story of Human Language about?

In this captivating exploration, a renowned linguist delves into the fascinating evolution of human language. Dr. John McWhorter, Ph.D., takes readers on a journey through time, unraveling the origins, development, and diversity of languages spoken by humans across the globe. With engaging anecdotes and insightful analysis, this book offers a comprehensive understanding of how language shapes our world and reflects the intricacies of human communication.

Who should read The Story of Human Language

  • Linguistics enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive exploration of human language.

  • Students studying linguistics or language-related fields looking for a foundational text.

  • Curious individuals interested in the evolution and diversity of human language.



by Robert M. Sapolsky, Ph.D.

What is Behave about?

In this captivating exploration of human behavior, a renowned neuroscientist delves into the intricate workings of our brains to uncover the biological roots behind our best and worst actions. From the influence of genes and hormones to the impact of childhood experiences, Sapolsky offers a thought-provoking analysis of what drives our behavior, shedding light on the complex interplay between biology and society.

Who should read Behave

  • Psychology students seeking a comprehensive understanding of human behavior.

  • Neuroscientists interested in exploring the biological basis of human actions.

  • General readers curious about the complexities of human behavior.


The Anthropocene Reviewed

by John Green

What is The Anthropocene Reviewed about?

"The Anthropocene Reviewed" is a collection of thought-provoking essays by a renowned author. With a focus on the human impact on our planet, the book explores various aspects of our existence, from the mundane to the extraordinary. Through insightful and witty observations, the author delves into topics such as technology, animals, and historical events, offering a unique perspective on the human experience in the Anthropocene era.

Who should read The Anthropocene Reviewed

  • Fans of John Green's thought-provoking and insightful writing style.

  • Environmentalists and those interested in the impact of humans on the planet.

  • Readers seeking a unique blend of personal anecdotes and scientific analysis.