Edmund R. Leach (1910–1989) was a British anthropologist. He is widely credited with introducing Anglophone readers to the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss. Leach served as provost of King’s College, Cambridge from 1966 until 1979; he was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1972 and knighted in 1975. A two-volume selection of his writings, The Essential Edmund Leach, was published by Yale University Press in 2001.


Anthropology Upside Down

Reinventing Anthropology

edited by Dell Hymes
The enigmatic title of this antitextbook may best be explained by an analogy. In the flush of radical enthusiasm which was briefly dominant in England between 1645 and 1660, left-wing religious sectarians—Diggers, Seekers, Quakers, Ranters, Muggletonians, Fifth Monarchy Men, and what have you—vied with one another to reinvent Christianity. They …

The Politics of Karma

Buddhism and Society

by Melford E. Spiro

Religion and Change in Contemporary Asia

edited by Robert F. Spencer
The three volumes noted here are part of a flood of recent English-language writing on Eastern religions. The stimulus seems to come from two main sources. On the one hand there is a genuine interest in how far these systems of thought offer intellectually satisfying alternatives to the Jewish and …

Mythical Inequalities

The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca

by Anthony F.C. Wallace

Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology

by Mary Douglas
“Pour étudier l’homme…il faut d’abord observer les différences pour découvrir les propriétés.” —J.-J. Rousseau In this year of Grace 1971 anthropology has the curious status of being both in fashion and on its last legs. The fashion stems from the revival of Rousseauism. As Lévi-Strauss has pointed out, our …

Bedtime Story

Hamlet's Mill

by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend
As will presently be apparent, my reaction to this book is hostile—so, before my prejudices get out of hand, let me try to explain what it is all about. Both authors are internationally celebrated professors of the History of Science, the one from M.I.T., the other from Frankfurt. The latter …

African Hitler

Terror and Resistance

by E.V. Walter
This book, or something very like it, was accepted for publication about six years ago, and its final, long-delayed appearance is welcome. It is a study of despotic rule by terror and violence, a form of government all too familiar both from the pages of history and the newspapers of …

High School

The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way of Knowledge

by Carlos Castaneda
Mysticism is in fashion. Just at the moment nothing brings in the bread more easily than a careful description of the horrors and delights of hippydom, pot, LSD, St. Teresa, or what have you. So any book of this sort invites caution. The general tone is Coleridge-de Quincey by Rousseau …

Ignoble Savages

Human Aggression

by Anthony Storr

Sanity and Survival: Psychological Aspects of War and Peace

by Jerome K. Frank
These books are all concerned with violence as a form of human behavior, but they cover a very wide spectrum ranging from personal subliminal tendencies at one extreme to nuclear warfare at the other. It is quite impossible for a reviewer to treat the various arguments with equal justice, but …