(Side note: I wonder if it would be feasible for the SAA to have a cut-rate "non-professional" membership rate that could open the content of the journal to a much wider segment of the public? What if membership rates and benefits stayed the same for those of us in academia but there was a lower tier -- say $5 or $10 per year -- that was open to anyone who wanted to access journal content but not go to meetings, etc.? I think we'd be doing ourselves a big favor by working harder to expose the general public to what it is we actually do and talk about.)
I can't print the whole review, obviously, but here is my first paragraph:
"Lost City, Found Pyramid is about understanding and engaging what Kenneth Feder (following Glyn Daniel) affectionately terms “bullshit archaeology.” (I am more polite than Feder, so I’ll use the term “pseudoarchaeology.”) It’s timely and relevant: while current events have focused the public on the importance of actively defending our system for creating an evidence-based reality, those of us who track pseudoarchaeology know that the “alternative facts” and “fake news” are not new at all. "
I liked the book, and I enjoyed reading each of the chapters. The University of Alabama Press correctly describes the book as "A collection of twelve engaging and insightful essays" that "does far more than argue for the simple debunking of false archaeology." The strength of the volume clearly lies with its emphasis on the “how” and “why” aspects of the creation, packaging, and consumption of pseudoarchaeological claims. Much less attention is paid to the "so what" questions. There surely could be, and should be, a companion volume that focuses on illuminating why the simple dismissal of pseudoarchaeology by professionals as "all in good fun" is both naive and (one could argue) unethical.