Generations of college students know the Yanomami as the example of "natural" aggression in human society. These reputedly isolated people have been portrayed as fiercely engaging in constant warfare over women, status, and revenge. Ferguson argues persuasively that the Yanomami make war not because Western influence is absent, but because it is present.
War in the Tribal Zone, the 1991 anthropology of war classic, is back in print with a new preface by the editors. Their timely and insightful essay examines the occurrence of ethnic conflict and violence in the decade since the idea of the "tribal zone" originally was formulated.