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10 thoughts on “Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo

  1. says:

    I pretty much love all things horrifying, including humans eating humans, so I figured Dinner with a Cannibal by Carole A Travis Henikoff would be a wonderful and interesting read Unfortunately there just wasn t a whole lot of information on cannibalism in this book.It started with gross things that people eat It is important that you note now, before you get yourself in an awkward situation, that rocky mountain oysters are not oysters And if you order sweetbreads you will not get raisin cinnamon toast.Then it tried to get to cannibalism, but was so disorganized and unfocused, that it only touched on it here and there For example, one chapter starts by talking about Aborigines, then jumps to Neanderthal cannibalism, and then back to Aboriginal scarification and finally gets to Aborigine cannibalism A very roundabout way, but it finally made it, for about one page of the chapter In another she talks about cannibalistic infanticide and then wanders off to the topic of child brides, which is unsettling for sure, but has nothing to do with cannibalism I would say, all in all, about 5% of this book had anything to do with people eating people.And when she does get to the topic promised by the title, I have to wonder about her sources and the credibility of her claims For instance she says there is irrefutable evidence that Neanderthals were cannibals because of the cut marks found on bones There certainly may well have been cannibalism going on or they may have defleshed bodies for ritualistic burial purposes There could be many explanations for this So suspected cannibalism, fine, but definitive evidence, nay Also, in recounting her evidence that Aborigines were cannibals, she says that there are too many accounts to be ignored Too many accounts by invading peoples who treated the Aborigines atrociously and continue to treat them as second class citizens today A quote from an article concerning another book about aborigines and cannibalism sums up my thoughts nicely I don t think there is any credible evidence in the historical anthropological literature to sustain it, said James Cook University historian Henry Reynolds, regarded as Australia s pre eminent historian on Aborigines Certainly there were writers in the 19th century who wrote sensational material along these lines, but to think that anyone in the late 20th century can take it seriously and put it forward without any evidence is pretty disturbing, he said I concur But what do you expect from a lady who evidently links Aborigines and Neanderthals together in her mind All in all, this was a pretty lame read If you want to read a book on cannibalism, do not go here However, if you want to read a bunch of loosely and I use this term loosely related crap, written dully, then I dare say this book is for you.


  2. says:

    I almost gave up The first half of this book is mostly random history with a little cannibalism sprinkled in I was losing interest The second half got a bit involved with what the title and description of the book would have you believe what the book is about Overall, it was ok And depending on how much cannibalism you want to read about, you may like it less or than I did I was torn between 2 stars or 3 But I did find a couple events discussed intriguing and found a couple other books I d like to read on those subjects So that s a plus.


  3. says:

    There s a really great and interesting story in here, but I couldn t help thinking that she needed a better editor She quotes Mary Roach, the author of Stiff, Spook Bonk and couldn t help but think she would have been a better author of this text.


  4. says:

    I couldn t get past the writing, so I quit at about page 150 Now I ve seen worse much worse , but this is incredibly disjointed and soooooo much of it is not actually on anthropophagy humans eating humans I think it is actually a insurmountable pet peeve of mine when a nonfiction book is written as if the writer had taken bullet pointed facts and just un bullet pointed them, pushed them together in weakly focused chapters, and padded it up with random stuff haha, reading the other reviews here perhaps it is a pet peeve for many people and not actually a personal problem, haha Anyway, I stopped when there was a page on people with hypertrichosis like Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy I was like, WTF, what does that have anything to do with cannibalism Don t insult Jo Jo Too bad, because it could have been much improved with a strict editor Well, anything could be much improved with a strict editor point is, this wasn t.


  5. says:

    Very interesting study into the why of cannibalism, not necessarily going into the incidents but giving a psychological thesis on why this taboo has been practiced all over the world and for thousands of years I didn t realize there were so many toes of cannabalism and reasons why it was practiced.


  6. says:

    Great writing style, good anthropology and information However, not remembering the question which led me to read thinking left me all squeamie.


  7. says:

    Cannibals in the closet is a phrase used throughout this book that takes an anthropological look at the history of humans and our interactions with one another From the United States to China to Africa, Travis Henikoff discusses the cultural stereotypes ingrained in current societies and the archaeological evidence of cultures past that have shaped our perceptions of how we live.Food is a huge role in every person s life Depending on where and how you are raised, your perceptions of food, hunger, and satiation may be the same as your neighbor or on a completely different spectrum This book starts out as a conversation, but sadly, ends like a boring lecture I was very excited by the first few chapters, particularly her simile of the brain starting as a shack and growing to multiple expansions this analogy would be beneficial to those interested in both psychology and biological anthropology.Having already read Conklin s Consuming Grief I found the references welcoming and also found several other books that may be interesting reads in the future Carole isn t nearly as thorough in her pages as Conklin was for the Wari, but there s reason Carole is offering an over view that is meant to pull people in while offering sources for further information She does this in a way that doesn t feel like advertising, but a way i appreciate when reading scholarly fare, which is to not only offer their own knowledge of a subject, but to also offer differing knowledge and cite the information so readers can make their own choices for what they explore in the future.Woven into the chapters are correlations between cannibalism and climate, politics and scarcity There is no pussy footing around revisionist historians Travis Henikoff takes them on directly and discusses the dangers of producing ethnographies and history books that only focus on the good and lay the foundation for the bad to become less innocuous as people forget.By the last few chapters, the tone of the book took a change It became much of a lecture The fun facts were still there to be ferreted out, but were not presented as they were in the early pages of the book Dinner with a Cannibal would be wonderful supplemental reading for anyone interested in or taking classes in cultural anthropology and sociology in terms of cultural shift.


  8. says:

    This was another book I randomly picked up at the library I have to say that I ve always found cannibalism to be among the most horrifying and disturbing of ideas, and perhaps that is why I found the book so absorbing Travis Henikoff argues that, contrary to what some have claimed in recent years, cannibalism was a common feature in all human societies throughout history and only recently have situations changed enough to permit the current attitude of horror towards what could mean life or death to a people She backs her arguments with many interesting evidence from human genetic codes to civilizations throughout the world In the end, Travis Henikoff illustrates how even cannibalism can become an accepted practice in a culture Often going back to theme that cannibals often chose life over death when situations demanded, she explains how such practices evolved into complex patterns of culture, from those who ate their enemies out of hatred to those who ate their dead family members out of love, with no group sharing the same attitudes However, I think she is a better anthropologist than historian, falling into common stereotypes to describe Medieval European society and often goes into long personal asides describing her interest in unusual delicacies in general, from delicious and nutritious brains to the flavor of tongues I think I was most disturbed by these scenes, linked so closely to the books main themes, since in mammals, they all taste the same In the end an extremely disturbing but interesting read that definitely makes one think about human nature and culture.


  9. says:

    I heard an interview with the author on NPR and found the topic fascinating When I think of cannibalism I think of two things shipwrecked survivors forced to eat one of their own, and Hannibal Lector devouring his victims These are probably the types of cannibalism that are most commonly portrayed in movies and in the news, but cannibalism actually has a rich and important history around the world People have eaten human flesh and organs in many cultures for many, many reasons medicinal, religious, funerary, etc.So yes, the subject matter is interesting, and the NPR interview was very intriguing uh, including the part where the author declared that she routinely ate her own scabs as a child , but the book itself was pretty disappointing I found the author s tone off putting, and most importantly I think she is just not a good writer.I have to hand it to her for doing an extensive amount of research, but while reading the book I oscillated between feeling incredibly bored and feeling incredibly irritated Other people may appreciate her sense of humor, but it didn t grab me.


  10. says:

    I liked this book a lot one of the first ones I read on cannibalism It s an excellent book if you are looking for an introduction on cannibalism, and aren t sure what it is about cannibalism that intrigues you It goes through various aspects, cultural, psychological, culinary,motives, anthropologic, religious, historical etc Just scratches the surface of each aspect If your looking for something particularly gruesome I wouldn t suggest this book The author presents the material in a way that desensitizes you to the horror that is cannibalism so that you can concentrate on the anthropologic aspects Which yay if you dislike gruesome macabre aspect of reading about eating human flesh I personally like the macabre and twisted This book just opened a giant door that has me still finding books in depth about specific instances of cannibalism I recommend this too all of my friends and family who have an interest in the macabre taboos but just can t stomach it.


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summary pdf Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo, summary chapter 2 Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo, sparknotes Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo, Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo 0b0477b Presenting The History Of Cannibalism In Concert With Human Evolution, Dinner With A Cannibal Takes Its Readers On An Astonishing Trip Around The World And Through History, Examining Its Subject From Every Angle In Order To Paint The Incredible, Multifaceted Panoply That Is The Reality Of Cannibalism At The Heart Of Carole A Travis Henikoff S Book Is The Question Of How Cannibalism Began With The Human Species And How It Has Become An Unspeakable Taboo Today At A Time When Science Is Being Battered By Religions And Failing Teaching Methods, Dinner With A Cannibal Presents Slices Of Multiple Sciences In A Readable, Understandable Form Nested Within A Wealth Of Data With History, Paleoanthropology, Science, Gore, Sex, Murder, War, Culinary Tidbits, Medical Facts, And Anthropology Filling Its Pages, Dinner With A Cannibal Presents Both The Light And Dark Side Of The Human Story The Story Of How We Came To Be All The Things We Are Today

  • Hardcover
  • 333 pages
  • Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo
  • Carole A. Travis-Henikoff
  • English
  • 09 September 2019
  • 9781595800305

About the Author: Carole A. Travis-Henikoff

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