This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book focuses on manhunts—the concrete historical phenomena in which human beings were tracked down, captured, or killed in accord with the forms of the hunt. These were regular and sometimes large-scale practices whose forms were first theorized in ancient Greece, long before their enormous expansion in the modern period in conjunction with the development of transatlantic capitalism. The main problem has to do with the fact that the hunter and the hunted do not belong to different species. Since the distinction between the predator and his prey is not inscribed in nature, the hunting relationship is always susceptible to a reversal of positions. Prey sometimes band together to become hunters in their turn. The history of a power is also the history of the struggles to overthrow it.
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