This page contains a list of primarily anthropological, but also general social science resources—books, papers, films, and other relevant materials—that I consider informative, or have otherwise enjoyed. I do not necessarily endorse everything in these—or any—works other than my own, but I consider everything on here worth checking out. Links are offered where materials are publicly available. This list will likely be expanded considerably in the future.
I have broken these recommendations up into categories based on similarities these works share in terms of modes of analysis/theoretical framework and time.
Early Comparative (1890’s-1950’s)
The History of Human Marriage (1891) by Edward Westermarck
Slavery as an Industrial System (1900) by H.J. Nieboer
Primitive Secret Societies (1908) by Hutton Webster
Totemism and Exogamy [volumes I-IV] (1910) by James Frazer
Our Primitive Contemporaries (1934) by George Peter Murdock
Early Quantitative (1940’s-1970’s)
Social Structure (1949) by George Peter Murdock
The Status of Women in Preindustrial Societies (1978) by Martin King Whyte
Late Comparative (1970’s-Today)
Manhood in the Making (1990) by David Gilmore
Sick Societies (1992) by Robert B. Edgerton
The Lifeways of Hunter-Gatherers (1995) by Robert L. Kelly
Late Quantitative (1980’s-Today)
Constructing Frames of Reference: An Analytical Method for Archaeological Theory Building Using Ethnographic and Environmental Data Sets (2001) by Lewis Binford
Jaeggi, A.V. et al. 2016. Obstacles and catalysts of cooperation in humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees: behavioural reaction norms can help explain variation in sex roles, inequality, war and peace. Behaviour.
Cross-Cultural Volumes (1980’s-Today)
Rituals of Manhood (1982) edited by Gilbert Herdt
Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia: An Exploration of the Comparative Method (2001) edited by Thomas Gregor and Donald Tuzin
Human Behavioral Ecology/Sociobiology (1980’s-Today)
Despotism and Differential Reproduction: A Darwinian View of Human History (1983) by Laura Betzig
Homicide (1988) by Martin Daly and Margo Wilson
The Origin of War: The Evolution of a Male-Coalitional Reproductive Strategy (1995) by J.M.G. van der Dennen.
Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior (2000) by Bobbi S. Low
Adaptation and Human Behavior (2000) edited by Lee Cronk, Napoleon Chagnon, and William Irons
Mammalian Behavioral Ecology/Primatology (1980’s-Today)
Primeval Kinship (2008) by Bernard Chapais
Mammal Societies (2016) by Tim Clutton-Brock
Chimpanzees and Human Evolution (2017) edited by Martin Mueller, Richard Wrangham, and David Pilbeam
General Social Science/History/Biography
The Campaigns of Napoleon (1966) by David G. Chandler
Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook (1968) by Edward Luttwak
Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years (1994) by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Understanding Early Civilizations (2003) by Bruce Trigger.
Codes of the Underworld (2009) by Diego Gambetta
Dead Birds (1963) —12 minute clip
—The book Gardens of War (1968) by Robert Gardner, the anthropologist who made the film, is also worth checking out.
Fictionalized ethnographic films
Nanook of the North (1922)
Cannibal Tours (1988)
The Human Systems and Behavior Lab
D-PLACE – Database of Places, Language, Culture, and Environment