Marvin Harris

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Marvin Harris (August 18, 1927 – October 25, 2001) was an American anthropologist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. A prolific writer, he was highly influential in the development of cultural materialism. In his work he combined Karl Marx's emphasis on the forces of production with Thomas Malthus's insights on the impact of demographic factors on other parts of the sociocultural system.


  • Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches: The Riddles of Culture, London: Hutchinson & Co., 1974; New York: Random House, 1974; New York: Vintage, 1991.
    • Vacas, Cerdos, Guerras Y Brujas Los Enigmas De La Cultura, 1998. (Spanish)
  • Cannibals and Kings: The Origins of Cultures, New York: Vintage, 1977.
    • Caníbales y reyes, spanish edition.
  • Why Nothing Works: The Anthropology of Daily Life, New York: Simon & Schuster. 1981.
  • Our Kind: who we are, where we came from, where we are going, New York: Harper Collins/ Harper Perennial, 1990.
  • Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture, Illinois: Waveland Press, 1998.