“[A]n illuminating study. … The book offers clear, analytical descriptions of the basic tenets for which Lévi-Strauss is known… This book, with an admiring but not slavish appreciation of its subject, thoughtfully analyzes the controversy that surrounded structuralism even during its glory days…. this book appreciates and communicates the grandeur of its subject’s accomplishments.” — Janet Maslin, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“This book is both a gratifyingly clear summary of a difficult body of work and a eulogy for a time ‘when the stream of consciousness of one mind could leave a deep cultural imprint.’” — THE NEW YORKER
“Patrick Wilcken’s well-written biography, the first full-length treatment of Lévi-Strauss’s life in English, provides an accessible and interesting overview of his career, personal life, intellectual development, contributions, and impact on thinking inside and outside of anthropology. Wilcken offers a clear explication and measured assessments of Lévi-Strauss’s works as well as setting them within the broader context of 20th-century French and European thought. … Wilcken is also a gifted storyteller and thoughtful analyst.” — SCIENCE Magazine
“Brilliantly assesses the great, original, creative ideas and their origins in the context of Lévi-Strauss’s life.” — THE TIMES (UK) Biographies of the Year
“‘[Wilcken] lays out the life with clarity, efficiency, readability and occasionally dissent … A superbly thrilling life.” — THE GUARDIAN
About the Author
is the author of Empire Adrift: The Portuguese court in Rio de Janeiro, 1808–1821
. He studied anthropology at Goldsmiths College, London University, and now works as a campaigner on the Brazil desk at Amnesty International. He lives in London.