Economics in Primitive Communities

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Author: Thurnwald, Richard (1869-1954) from the library of professor George M Foster

Year: 1932

Publisher: International Institute of American Languages and Cultures

Place: Oxford


xiv+314 pages with diagrams, bibliography and index. Octavo (9" x 6") bound in original dark blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine. From the library of Professor George M Foster. First edition.

Richard Thurnwald, one of the most productive ethnologists of his time, was born in Vienna on September 18, 1869: The only child of well-to-do parents, he enjoyed the advantages of an upper middle-class Austrian upbringing. At an early age he was seized with a longing for strange places and would wistfully gaze at the railroad tracks that led to foreign parts. Though it is too early for a definitive judgment, there can be no question of Thurnwald's unique contributions. Apart from rich and varied accretions to factual information, he gave us the first systematic up-to-date account of primitive economics in the third volume of his major treatise and he injected into the study of social organization those sociopsychological considerations which many readers, Boas among them, found lacking in Robert H. Lowie's Primitive Society. Altogether he worthily represented those anthropological interests which are not, above all, concentrated on historical problems.

George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. Provenance from the executor of Foster's library laid in.


Foster's stamp to front end paper. Light edge wear else a better than very good copy.

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