Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 1964. Hardcover. VG-/VG- but art school ex-lib. with usual marks; two pages of text with a bit of underlining.. Red clay cloth/boards; gilt lettering. Terracotta/black dj with Fold-On cover protective cover. xlv + 471 pp. with no illus. Part of The John Harvard Library, edited by Bernard Bailyn. Originally published in 1877; this edition set from the 1878 printing. Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was a remarkable Victorian, justly compared with two other giant intellects of his age, Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. All three were conventional men, but they all developed theories with radical and revolutionary implications. All were concerned with "evolution" in one form or another, putting them in conflict with religious and intellectual orthodoxy. Morgan believed it both natural and proper to learn by what stages of growth mankind had risen from savagery to civilization. Ancient Society defines three major stages in the cultural and social evolution of mankind. Morgan describes how savages, advancing by definite steps, attained the higher condition of barbarism. He then explores how barbarians, by similar progressive advancement, finally attained civilization. Finally he discusses why other tribes and nations have been left behind in the race of progress. Inventions and discoveries show the similarity of human wants at the same stages of advancement, thus demonstrating the psychic unity of mankind. The idea of property - now an obsession in civilized society - underwent a similar process of growth and development, as did the principles of government. By the "comparative method" of using existing and historical societies as examples of previous stages, the history of human progress could be reconstructed. These parallel lines along the pathways of human progress form the principal subjects of discussion in Ancient Society. - google books. (Inventory #: 157677)
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