Richard Lee’s The !Kung San: Men, Women, and Work in a Foraging Society (1979) is an excellent and highly detailed analysis of the best-known of all contemporary hunter-gatherer societies. Robert Kelly’s The Foraging Spectrum (1995) is an extremely valuable and unusually comprehensive analysis of the most important dimensions of hunter-gatherer lifeways. Burch and Ellanna (1994) is a useful collection of essays on various aspects of hunter-gatherer societies, including territoriality, hunter affluence, culture contact, and government intervention. Hunter-Gatherer Foraging Strategies (1981), edited by Winterhalder and Smith, is a collection of essays applying the approach known as optimal foraging theory to the analysis of hunter-gatherer subsistence practices. This approach assumes that hunter-gatherers adopt those foraging strategies that yield the highest caloric and nutritional outcomes for the least amount of time and energy invested. More recent works applying this perspective are Hawkes and O’Connell (1985), Winterhalder (1987), Kaplan and Hill (1992), and Kelly (1995). Mark Cohen’s The Food Crisis in Prehistory (1977) is the classic argument for population pressure as the main engine of the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture. Allen Johnson and Timothy Earle’s The Evolution of Human Societies (2000) provides excellent discussions of subsistence practices among the main types of preindustrial societies. An article by Minge-Klevana, (1980) contains extensive data on the workloads of preindustrial societies at different levels of technological development.
Marvin Harris’s Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches (1974) and Cannibals and Kings (1977) contain interesting and highly readable accounts of subsistence and economic and political organization in preindustrial societies. Marshall Sahlins’s Stone Age Economics (1972) is a famous work on precapitalist economic systems written from a