From Library Journal
In the late 19th century, the good Parsi?a tiny elite of 40,000 living in Bombay?embraced charity, truthfulness, racial purity, progressive attitudes, and British cultural values. In this anthropological study, Luhrmann (anthropology, Univ. of California, San Diego) traces the Parsi origins in Persia, their adherence to Zoroastrianism, and their rise to social and cultural prominence under British colonial rule. By the 1920s and 1930s, however, the good Parsi had entered a stage of severe self-criticism after sensing the loss of moral integrity, manliness, and genetic strength. Luhrmann concludes that the growing weakness was due to excessive intermarriage and extensive Parsi charity, which destroyed the inner drive to succeed. In consequence came the rise of the crisis of personal identity in a postcolonial world. Luhrmann has produced a superb analysis of Parsi history, anthropology, and psychology. For academic collections.?John F. Riddick, Central Michigan Univ. Lib., Mt. Pleasant
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Respected editors of Lincolniana present the verifiable sayings of Lincoln outside of his writings and speeches. Most excerpts were put to paper soon after the conversation, and hence they are more reliable than the effusion of remembered conversations inspired by the shock of the assassination. Yet the latter category can ring truthfully, and the Fehrenbachers clearly explain the historiographical bases (such as double sourcing or internal consistency) that the expert researcher would use to evaluate any particular statement. The amateur browser, too, will find this to be an informative volume of how Lincoln was perceived by contemporaries; especially, given his virtual apotheosis, the hostility with which many--not just rebels--regarded him. Lincoln's chats as remembered by his supporters lend fascinating insight into his political acumen. There are many hooks on which readers can hang their particular curiosities (such as the origin of the story about sending Grant's whiskey to Union generals), so that this scholarly edition, though expensive, should find an appreciative reader in most libraries. Gilbert Taylor
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