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The Innocent Anthropologist

Notes from a Mud Hut

by Nigel Barley

When British anthropologist Nigel Barley set up home among the Dowayo people in northern Cameroon, he knew how fieldwork should be conducted. Unfortunately, nobody had told the Dowayo. His compulsive, witty account of first fieldwork offers a wonderfully inspiring introduction to the real life of a cultural anthropologist doing research in a Third World area. Both touching and hilarious, Barley's unconventional story--in which he survived boredom, hostility, disaster, and illness--addresses many critical issues in anthropology and in fieldwork.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: AnthropologyBiographies & Memoirs

Reading time: 34 hours


Michael Lewis
Journalist and Writer

There’s a book, I’ve never seen anybody talk about it or write about it, but when I read it, I thought, in a funny way, it was helpful for Liar’s Poker. It was a book called The Innocent Anthropologist. Every now and then, and when I can find it, I give that away. Because again, it’s a surprising book.