The Anthropology of Real Life is about people living their lives through the flow of events in the world. Real life is the events to which people respond from day to day and year to year: droughts and migrations, new state regulations and local violation of established norms, deaths and marriages, forest fires and job opportunities, murders and social contracts. The Anthropology of Real Life is about how events push and pull, oppress and liberate, enhance and destroy people's lives. While people are shaped by their cultures and their positions in society, events-- whether authored by natural forces, by other people, or by people themselves--take on a life of their own, and become independent forces determining human destinies. The Anthropology of Real Life is illustrated with original ethnographic case studies from a Middle Eastern desert and a Mediterranean island. Broader conclusions are drawn from these ethnographic examples through comparative analysis. The Anthropology of Real Life shows the way in which the substance and texture of life changes over time, as one major event fades and another arises, itself only to fade and be replaced by yet a new event. The Anthropology of Real Life does not offer a new theory or paradigm, but draws on classical and contemporary anthropological works to identify a recognized and proven strategy for understanding people's real lives.