Best Anthropology Books for UPSC in 2020

Hey! Are you a Civil Service aspirant preparing for UPSC?  Every year thousands of students appear for UPSC, but only a handful of them gets selected. There are several reasons behind the unsuccessful attempts the students make; one of them is choosing wrong study materials that do not cover all the aspects of a particular subject. We are going to provide you with the best anthropology books for UPSC in 2020-21 that are entirely written on the format of UPSC to help the students rank higher.

So there are two papers in Anthropology optional. The books from both papers are given categorically below:


1) Cultural Anthropology by Carol R. Ember & Melvin R. Ember- View More 

2) Unique Anthropology Simplified for UPSC By Vivek Bhasme- View More 

3) Physical Anthropology by P. Nath- View More

4) An Introduction to Social Anthropology by D.N.Majumdar & T. N. Madan- View More

5) The Tribal Culture of India by L. P. Vidyarthi- View More

6) Tribal India by Nadeem Hasnain- View More

7) Indian Anthropology By Nadeem Hasnain- View More 

8) Human Biology by G. A. Harrison- View More

9) An outline of Indian prehistory by D. K. Bhattacharya- View More

10) Other Cultures by John Beattie- View More

11) Introduction to anthropology by William A. Haviland- View More

12) Physical anthropology and human genetics by B. R. K. SHUKLA- View More 

13) An introduction to physical anthropology by Stein & Rowe- View More 

14) Modernization Of Indian Traditions by Yogendra Singh- View More 

Anthropology Optional Paper 1-

So in the first paper, you have to read the introduction to anthropology or what it means. The book of Ember and Ember is for the starting times, as it has explained the fundamental matters of anthropology so that you can gain clarity on the topic. Also, you would need to elaborate on some issues in diagrams and structured pattern, Vivek Bhasme’s “Anthropology Simplified” is best for that. Remember one thing that none of these books are needed to read page after page, pick the crucial topics and select the book that helps you to answer the best.


Which Optional is Better Anthropology or Sociology

Additional Readings for Paper 2-

> Xaxa Committee Report

> Tribal Ministry Website

> January 2014 edition of Yojana- Tribal and Marginalized Communities


The Second paper of UPSC Optional Anthropology covers the Indian civilization and the demographical and cultural evolution that the Indian communities, including the tribals, have gone through. So, the syllabus focuses on Indian anthropology, so you need to study the books that cover the Indian anthropological trend and the diverse cultures of India. Nadim Hussain has done a significant amount of research, which he has put together in his books, and his books are the number one choice for UPSC. Additionally, you have to read some reports conducted by the govt of India and some other authorities to gain practical knowledge of anthropology.


Reading some non-fictions based on anthropology would help you in developing a better concept of the subject. Also, you’ll know if you are really passionate about anthropology or not, if you are you will love to read them.


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General Readings-

> Sapiens- Yuvah Noah Harari

> The Selfish Gene- Richard Dawkins

> The Gene- Siddhartha Mukerjee

FAQs on Anthropology Books for UPSC-

Which book is good for anthropology for UPSC?

There are plenty of books available for the subject anthropology optional which you can choose to read. But none of the books can cover the entire syllabus, so you need multiple books. Check the article to know more about the books.

Which book is good for anthropology optional?

Anthropology optional’s syllabus covers two papers. The anthropology optional syllabus covers the entire anthropology in the paper 1 and Indian anthropology in paper 2. To know more about the books please refer to our article.

Which is the first book to read for anthropology optional?

The first book that you have to read is Anthropology of Ember and Ember, the book covers the introduction to anthropology. There are several other books that explains more about this, check them out in the article.

Which anthropology book is best for UPSC optional?

No one book can cover the entire anthropology; you have to read multiple books for higher ranks. In the article, there are several anthropology books for UPSC mentioned, with comprehensive information to guide you in the right path for your anthropology optional Civil Service Exam preparation.

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