Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) was perhaps the most influential anthropologist of our time, but his influence extended far beyond his field to encompass all facets of contemporary life. Nowhere were his gifts for directness, humor, and steady revelation more evident than in the pages of the New York Review of Books, where for nearly four decades he shared his acute vision of the world in all its peculiarity. This book brings together the finest of Geertz's review essays from the New York Review along with a representative selection of later pieces written at the height of his powers, some that first appeared in periodicals such as Dissent, others never before published. This collection exemplifies Geertz's extraordinary range of concerns, beginning with his first essay for the Review in 1967, in which he reviews, with muffled hilarity, the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. This book includes Geertz's unflinching meditations on Western academia's encounters with the non-Western world, and on the shifting and clashing places of societies in the world generally.
Geertz writes eloquently and arrestingly about such major figures as Gandhi, Foucault, and Genet, and on topics as varied as Islam, globalization, feminism, and the failings of nationalism. Life among the Anthros and Other Essays demonstrates Geertz's uncommon wisdom and consistently keen and hopeful humor, confirming his status as one of our most important and enduring public intellectuals.
Clifford Geertz was professor emeritus in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His many books include The Interpretation of Cultures (Basic), Negara: The Theatre State in Nineteenth-Century Bali (Princeton), and Available Light: Anthropological Reflections on Philosophical Topics (Princeton). Fred Inglis is Honorary Professor of Cultural History at the University of Warwick and former member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is the author of Clifford Geertz: Culture, Custom, and Ethics and A Short History of Celebrity (Princeton).
Introduction: The Comic Vision of Cliff ord Geertz 1 Part I: Sages and Anthropologists 1967 On Malinowski 15 1969 On Gandhi 21 1978 On Foucault 29 1992 On Genet 39 2001 Ethnography in China 47 Part II: Islams and the Fluidity of Nations 1971 In Search of North Africa 61 1975 Mysteries of Islam 71 1985 The Last Arab Jews 81 1989 House Painting: Toutes Directions 88 1990 On Feminism 101 2000 Indonesia: Starting Over 112 2001 On the Devastation of the Amazon 123 2003 Which Way to Mecca? Part I 135 2003 Which Way To Mecca? Part II 145 2005 On the State of the World 157 Part III: Th e Idea of Order: Last Lectures 2001 Th e Near East in the Far East 169 2002 An Inconstant Profession 185 2004 What Is a State If It Is Not a Sovereign? 200 2005 Shifting Aims, Moving Targets 219 2005 What Was the Th ird World Revolution? 236 Acknowledgments and Editorial Details 253 Notes 255 Index 265
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