"In this big and important book, Eric Wolf begins and ends with the assertion that anthropology must pay more attention to history. . . . It is with pleasure, then, that one reads a critical analysis that rejects pseudo- historical oppositions and explores with such care the historical processes by which primitive and peasant pasts have become a fundamentally altered primitive, peasant, and proletarian present." -- William Roseberry, Dialectical Anthropology
"The work of a powerful theoretical intelligence, but one informed by a lived sense of social realities." -- Times Literary Supplement
"Wolf has created a history of connection rather than one of segregation. . . . This absorbing and stimulating book . . . provides a convincing and, dare I say, new perspective. . . . By emphasizing a common past, Wolf moves away from weary polarities of active 'white' centre and passive 'non- white' periphery and suggests both a more complex and a more informed sense of the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world." -- Ben Jay, European Update
"Wolf's empirical knowledge is exceptionally wide. . . . He relies on a skillful selection of phenomena in time and space that are reasonably representative of the totality. . . . The book is very well written and with a profoundly human touch." -- Magnus Mrner, Ethnos
"Wolf's intention is to explain the development and nature of the chains of cause and consequence which linked populations in the post-1400 world. The outcome is a tightly structured and elegant book." -- Oceania
"Wolf's intention is to show that European expansion not only transformed the historical trajectory of non-European societies but also reconstituted their historical accounts of their societies before European intervention. . . . His historical sweep and analytic breadth are astounding, and he gives approximately equal weight to historical 'winners' and 'losers.'" --Michael S. Kimmel, American Journal of Sociology
About the Author
Eric R. Wolf(19231999) had an illustrious and influential career as Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at H. Lehman College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York.