Uncaging the beast

Sheldon Rothblatt

  • Victorian Anthropology by George Stocking
    Collier Macmillan, 429 pp, £22.00, October 1987, ISBN 0 02 931550 6

The ‘British School’ stands near the centre of modern anthropology. McLennan and Tylor, Malinowski and Pitt-Rivers come to mind. No one has done more to examine their leading concepts (‘culture’, ‘evolution’) or place them in perspective than George Stocking of the University of Chicago. His brilliant essays and intellectual leadership have virtually built an academic specialty. And Victorian Anthropology is unquestionably his masterpiece, a work of precision, subtlety and historical irony.

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