Dreams of Fair Game

George Woodcock

  • Maps and Dreams by Hugh Brody
    Jill Norman and Hobhouse, 297 pp, £7.95, January 1982, ISBN 0 906908 76 0

The White Man’s inability or refusal even to see the existence of Indian economic systems is the one theme that threads its way through the story of the New World,’ says Hugh Brody in Maps and Dreams. ‘European beliefs that hunting people occupied the bottom rung of an evolutionary ladder, together with contrary views of the hunter as an ideal of human existence alongside which contemporary European or American destruction of the Noble Savage could be judged and condemned, are two of the rhetorics that, in different ways, consign hunting peoples to the dustbins of history.’ Maps and Dreams is an impressive attempt to dispel popular errors about peoples whom anthropologists used condescendingly to call ‘primitive hunters’. Brody is also seeking to prove that hunting economies can continue to be viable even in modern North America, and that the way of life associated with them is worth preserving.

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