Human Ecology

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 487–489 | Cite as

Napoleon A. Chagnon: Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes — The Yanomamö and the Anthropologists

New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013. ISBN: 0684855100
  • Lee Cronk

In the spring of 1982, I took a course taught by the famous Napoleon Chagnon. He had recently arrived at Northwestern University, and I was about to graduate, so as far as I knew at the time it would be my last opportunity to learn something about this man who even then was a living legend within the discipline of anthropology. The subject matter of the course was political anthropology, and although the required readings by such leaders in the field as F. G. Bailey and Morton Fried were certainly stimulating, the best part of each class was always Chagnon’s fascinating accounts of life among the Yanomamö. One day, he began to tell a story about a man named Wide Asshole. Before he had gotten very far, one of my fellow students burst out: “Wait a minute. What kind of a parent names a kid ‘Wide Asshole’?” Without missing a beat, Chagnon turned to the student and said, “Well, what kind of parent names a kid Napoleon?”

To those who don’t know him personally, Napoleon Chagnon is...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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