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Pathways of power : building an anthropology of the modern world / Eric R. Wolf, Sydel Silverman; pref. Aram A. Yengoyan

Main Author Wolf, Eric R. Coauthor Silverman, Sydel Secondary Author Yengoyan, Aram A. Country Estados Unidos. Publication Berkeley : University of California Press, cop. 2001 Description XX, 463 p. ; 23 cm ISBN 0-520-22334-9 CDU 394
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Monografia Biblioteca Geral da Universidade do Minho
BGUM 394 - W Available 305432
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This collection of twenty-eight essays by renowned anthropologist Eric R. Wolf is a legacy of some of his most original work, with an insightful foreword by Aram Yengoyan. Of the essays, six have never been published and two have not appeared in English until now. Shortly before his death, Wolf prepared introductions to each section and individual pieces, as well as an intellectual autobiography that introduces the collection as a whole. Sydel Silverman, who completed the editing of the book, says in her preface, "He wanted this selection of his writings over the past half-century to serve as part of the history of how anthropology brought the study of complex societies and world systems into its purview."

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Foreword: Culture and Power in the Writings of Eric R. Wolf (p. vii)
  • Preface (p. xix)
  • Introduction: An Intellectual Autobiography (p. 1)
  • Part I. Anthropology (p. 11)
  • 1. American Anthropologists and American Society (p. 13)
  • 2. Kroeber Revisited (p. 23)
  • 3. Remarks on The People of Puerto Rico (p. 38)
  • 4. On Fieldwork and Theory (p. 49)
  • 5. Anthropology among the Powers (p. 63)
  • Part II. Connections (p. 81)
  • 6. Building the Nation (p. 83)
  • 7. The Social Organization of Mecca and the Origins of Islam (p. 100)
  • 8. Aspects of Group Relations in a Complex Society: Mexico (p. 124)
  • 9. The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Mexican National Symbol (p. 139)
  • 10. Closed Corporate Peasant Communities in Mesoamerica and Central Java (p. 147)
  • 11. The Vicissitudes of the Closed Corporate Peasant Community (p. 160)
  • 12. Kinship, Friendship, and Patron-Client Relations in Complex Societies (p. 166)
  • 13. Ethnicity and Nationhood (p. 184)
  • Part III. Peasants (p. 191)
  • 14. Types of Latin American Peasantry: A Preliminary Discussion (p. 193)
  • 15. Specific Aspects of Plantation Systems in the New World: Community Subcultures and Social Classes (p. 215)
  • 16. Peasants and Revolution (p. 230)
  • 17. Phases of Rural Protest in Latin America (p. 241)
  • 18. Is the "Peasantry" a Class? (p. 252)
  • 19. On Peasant Rent (p. 260)
  • 20. The Second Serfdom in Eastern Europe and Latin America (p. 272)
  • 21. Peasant Nationalism in an Alpine Valley (p. 289)
  • Part IV. Concepts (p. 305)
  • 22. Culture: Panacea or Problem? (p. 307)
  • 23. Inventing Society (p. 320)
  • 24. The Mills of Inequality: A Marxian Approach (p. 335)
  • 25. Incorporation and Identity in the Making of the Modern World (p. 353)
  • 26. Ideas and Power (p. 370)
  • 27. Facing Power--Old Insights, New Questions (p. 383)
  • 28. Perilous Ideas: Race, Culture, People (p. 398)
  • References (p. 413)
  • Index (p. 447)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


This selection of Wolf's papers, chosen by himself, declares his inestimable contribution to 20th-century anthropology. The collection is accompanied by an intellectual autobiography, introductory annotations to each paper, and a general introduction by Aram Yengoyan. Every selection discloses Wolf's deep humanism, multidisciplinary rigor, originality of thought, astounding synthesizing ability, and energetic refusal to let any idea that is central in anthropology lie unexamined. More specifically, the essays reveal his application of power relations and political economy to the analysis of basic anthropological notions such as culture, peasantry, ethnicity, community, and race. His understanding of power factors in human arrangements and recognition that global and historical processes have affected all the peoples and groups that anthropologists study are transforming. This collection includes papers not easily available until now. One of them, "The Second Serfdom in Eastern Eu rope and Latin America," displays brilliantly Wolf's comparative and synthesizing abilities. This volume gives faculty members and students handy access to the work of one who stands with Franz Boas, Alfred Kroeber, Julian Steward, and Sidney Mintz in the history of anthropology in the US. For all academic libraries. R. Berleant-Schiller emeritus, University of Connecticut

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Eric R. Wolf (1923-1999) ended his illustrious and influential career as Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at H. Lehman College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York.

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