An Anthropologist, Once Accused of Genocide, Tells His Story at Last

An Anthropologist Once Accused of Genocide Tells His Story at Last 1

Ariana Cubillos, AP Images

In his new autobiography, Napoleon Chagnon describes his research among the Yanomami tribe of the Amazon region, and what allegations about his work there have cost him.

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close An Anthropologist Once Accused of Genocide Tells His Story at Last 1

Ariana Cubillos, AP Images

In his new autobiography, Napoleon Chagnon describes his research among the Yanomami tribe of the Amazon region, and what allegations about his work there have cost him.

When the 150-pound anaconda burst upward from the river, nearly seizing him by the head, Napoleon A. Chagnon wasn't fearful—he was furious. The famous anthropologist grabbed his double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun and pumped round after round into the snake, more shots than necessary for the kill, before dragging the still-twitching beast from the water and skinning it with his hunting knife.

Mr. Chagnon is, in other words, not easily cowed. He offers multiple examples of this