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In this lucide guide to the often abstruse works of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Edmund Leach synthesizes the thought of one of the twentieth century's greatest anthropologists and provides a thoughtful introduction to the theory and practice of structuralism. Leach organizes his work not by chronology but by theme, exploring three important topics in Lévi-Strauss's work: human beings and their symbols, the structure of myth, and kinship theory. Written concisely and with great care and penetration, this brief book is both a fine introduction for the uninitiated reader of Lévi-Strauss and a critical analysis that will prove valuable to those more familiar with the anthropologist's work.
Biographical Note i. The Man Himself ii. Oysters, Smoked Salmon, and Stilton Cheese iii. The Human Animal and His Symbols iv. The Structure of Myth v. Words and Things vi. The Elementary Structures of Kinship vii. Machines for the Suppression of Time