As a young man, Maurice Godelier was Claude Lévi-Strauss’s assistant. Since then, Godelier has drawn on this experience to develop a profound and intimate grasp on the writings of his former teacher, one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Meticulously researched, Lévi-Strauss: A Critical Study of His Thought will prove indispensable to students of Lévi-Strauss and to structural anthropologists more generally. It is a compelling and comprehensive study destined to become the definitive work on the evolution of Lévi-Strauss’s ideas, at the heart of which lies his analysis of kinship and myth.
Maurice Godelier is Professor of Anthropology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. His publications include Rationality and Irrationality in Economics, The Mental and the Material, The Making of Great Men, The Enigma of the Gift, In and Out of the West, and The Metamorphoses of Kinship.
“All would agree on the influence of the voluminous oeuvre of Lévi-Strauss within the history of the Human Sciences. To come to terms with it, we need a reliable guide, such as this. Students of kinship, myth, or mythical thinking may disagree with some of Godelier’s positions, but have here a splendid basis on which to build.”
—Nick Allen, University of Oxford
“Maurice Godelier, eminent French anthropologist, surveys and assesses, sympathetically and critically, the mass of writings on kinship and mythology of another eminent French anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss. This deep engagement of the one with the other is, for readers, both a pleasure and a powerful tool.”
—Thomas R. Trautmann, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan
“Cuts through the fog of commentary surrounding the legacy of this most enigmatic of scholars, to address Lévi-Strauss’s legacy in its own, properly anthropological terms. The book is a joy to read.” —Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen
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