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Asahi Shibum


A review of Affluence without Abundance from Japan's largest daily.



"Rather, it is because envy served an important, if surprising, evolutionary purpose, one that helps us to reconcile this most selfish of traits with the sociability that was so critical to the extraordinary success of our species. "

The Guardian.


How Neolithic farming sowed the seeds of modern inequality 10,000 years ago.
The prehistoric shift towards cultivation began our preoccupation with hierarchy and growth – and even changed how we perceive the passage of time

Washington Post

Best 50 works of non-fiction 2017

Affluence Without Abundance tops list of 50 best non-fiction books for 2017. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that that the next best 49 are in alphabetical order.



Lessons from the Bushmen: How this tech-free society could foreshadow our technological future

Financial Times


Affluence Without Abundance is an elegant and absorbing contribution to our knowledge of the hunting and gathering way of life, both in the present and in the recent past.

Irish Times


"Suzman’s talent for evoking the region’s vast and haunting landscapes, his elegiac account of a passing covenant with nature, and his warm and compassionate character sketches of individual Ju’/hoansi, make this a fascinating and at times profoundly moving work of literary non-fiction."



The Ju/’hoansi people of the Kalahari have always been fiercely egalitarian. They hate inequality or showing off, and shun formal leadership institutions. It’s what made them part of the most successful, sustainable civilisation in human history

New Scientist


Suzman and Scott have both written excellent books, which could serve on reading lists for geography, history and politics, as well as in their natural homes of archaeology and anthropology."

New Yorker

Review Essay

"Fortunately for us, the anthropologist James Suzman did exactly that: he spent more than two decades visiting, studying, and living among the Bushmen of the Kalahari, in southwest Africa. It’s a story he recounts in his new book, “Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen.”

MIT Undark


The Jackal and the Donkey: How Stories Saved a People’s Identity
Pushed to the margins, the Ju/’hoansi of Namibia built an enduring folklore from the kinship of humans and animals

Washington Post


This fascinating glimpse into a disappearing way of life leads Suzman to reflect on our world today: a world where wealth and possessions are valued above all other pursuits. Suzman’s account of the lives of Bushmen, past and present, offers plenty of fuel for thought.

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