Elizabeth Marshall Thomas was nineteen when her father took his family to live among the Bushmen of the Kalahari. Fifty years later, after a life of writing and study, Thomas returns to her experiences with the Bushmen, one of the last hunter-gatherer societies on earth, and discovers among them an essential link to the origins of all human society.
Humans lived for 1,500 centuries as roving clans, adapting daily to changes in environment and food supply, living for the most part like their animal ancestors. Those origins are not so easily abandoned, Thomas suggests, and our modern society has plenty still to learn from the Bushmen.
Through her vivid, empathic account, Thomas reveals a template for the lives and societies of all humankind.
Praise for The Old Way
“Heartbreaking and gorgeously observed . . . The Old Way is not only a timely work, but also a timeless one.” —Alexandra Fuller, The New York Times Book Review
“A work of impressive scholarship and, more important, a book that connects the dots linking us to the first stages of the human race. . . . Remarkable.” —The Washington Post
“It is fascinating to see how Thomas has honed her observational powers over the years . . . and how her notion of 'culture' has broadened.” —Los Angeles Times
“Thomas captures the fascinating customs of a people that had no future as a tribe.” —The Daily News (New York)