Summary and Info
In this book, the author challenges the popular assumption that "primitive" societies are poor, ill, and malnourished, and that progress through civiliztion automatically implies improved health. Cohen reviews the major prehistoric social and technological transformations that resulted in the emergence of civilization, and evaluates the impact of these transformations on health and nutrition through the ages. Using findings from epidemiology, anthropology, and archaeology, Cohen provides evidence about the actual effects of civilization on health, concluding that primitive populations, whether in prehistory or in the modern world, have surprisingly successful health records compared to many prehistoric and historic civilizations and to some populations of the modern Third World. He argues that some aspects of "progress" create as many health problems as they prevent or cure.
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