Cover image for Culture wars and the global village : a diplomat's perspective
Culture wars and the global village : a diplomat's perspective
Coon, Carleton S. (Carleton Stevens), 1927-
Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
256 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GN345.5 .C66 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GN345.5 .C66 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

Carl Coon served as ambassador to Nepal from 1981 to 1984.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Coon, former US Ambassador to Nepal and son of anthropologist Carleton Coon, applies cultural evolution theory to today's conundrum of global problems (population, environment, nuclear arms, etc.) complicated by local group differences. Some of his ethnographic examples (from South Asia, the Mideast, Africa) provide interesting insights from his father's field studies and his own diplomatic experience. The notion that humanity, while biologically one, is culturally many is occasionally well illustrated, as in his argument against either automatic convergence or divergence because of "human nature." On the other hand, Coon's trumpeting of Dawkins's "meme" or "altruism" theory seems tendentious, his positing of five levels of altruism (with nations at four and humanity at five) seems patronizing, and his analysis of common global problems seems extremely superficial. Hence this intriguing attempt at a new kind of diplomat's memoir seems poorly executed in comparison with the work of a professional anthropologist of similar inclination. e.g., Marvin Harris. General collections. T. J. Knight; Colorado State University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 7
Part I Background
1. From My Gallery of Cultural Snapshotsp. 15
2. The Biological Evolution of Humankindp. 25
3. The Evolutionary Nature of Human Thoughtp. 43
4. Culturep. 53
5. Social Darwinismp. 71
6. The Five Levels of Altruismp. 75
7. On Aggression and Arms Racesp. 89
8. Religionp. 101
9. Common Sense and the Lawp. 111
10. A Woman's Placep. 121
11. Information's Two Revolutionsp. 129
Part II Foreground
12. Culture Wars and the Global Villagep. 137
13. Coping with Cultural Diversityp. 151
14. Toward a Global Societyp. 157
15. Populationp. 165
16. Environmental Issuesp. 175
17. Some Problems of the Poor: Indiap. 181
18. Some Problems of the Rich: The United Statesp. 187
19. Family Valuesp. 199
20. Philosophy and the Artsp. 211
21. From Religion to Humanismp. 217
22. Races and Racismp. 225
23. Technology in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 229
24. Issues for a Future Global Societyp. 235
25. Getting from Here to There: Progressive Humanismp. 239
Epilogue: The Millennial Viewp. 243
Indexp. 247