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Selected Writings in Language, Culture, and Personality [Paperback]

Edward Sapir , David G. Mandelbaum
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1985 0520055942 978-0520055940
Edward Sapir was one of those men, rare among scientists and scholars, who are spoken of by their colleagues in terms of genius. His writings on frontier problems in cultural anthropology, psychology, and linguistics are outstanding for their provocative insights and remarkable control of factual data. His long essay on language, his principal field of study, is an illuminating exploration of various aspects of the subject. His stress on the fact that language is a cultural or social product helped to make linguistics an integral part of the study of man. The interplay of culture and personality was a field where Sapir was a pioneer and many of his essays have become classics in the social sciences. The nine contributions brought together in this volume well show the distinction and lasting quality of Sapir's work. They include "Culture, Genuine and Spurious," "The Meaning of Religion," "Language," "Cultural Anthropology and Psychiatry," and "The Statue of Linguistics as a Science."

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Selected Writings in Language, Culture, and Personality + Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf + Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures (Current Studies in Linguistics)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"For sheer brilliance Edward Sapir is unsurpassed by any American anthropologist, living or dead."—Cylde Kluckhohn, Harvard University

Product Details

  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (January 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520055942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520055940
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating May 8, 2000
By Fax
After reading the currently available collection of Whorf's work, I became interested in the 'linguistic relativist' position and decided to read this book of Sapir's. However, there is little comparison to be made between the two scholars; Sapir comes off as far deeper and more professional than Whorf, and writes profoundly about a broad range of issues. This book includes writings on anthropology, linguistics, sociology, literary criticism (which I found a little dodgy, to tell the truth), music, etc, etc--and he writes fluently and intriguingly about all of them, with the exception perhaps of poetry, though it may just be a difference of taste that leads me to that conclusion. Anyway some of his most famous essays are included, mostly on linguistics, though the long essay on establishing times of migration etc. of American Indian tribes was extremely interesting and worth any effort put into reading it (it does take some). Anyway, it's worth your time--read it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More on the Sapir-Whorf relationship January 10, 2008
While studying the work of Benjamin Lee Whorf, I took a side
trip and read this volume from cover to cover. I came away with
enormous respect for Edward Sapir as a thinker and as someone who
knew both the pitfalls and privileges of modernity. The articles in
the collection are of interest to students of culture, but will reward reading by any thoughtful person.

Whorf and Sapir had an interesting relationship.

Whorf studied linguistics and anthropology with Sapir at Yale U, with
Whorf attending night sessions because of his work at the Hartford Insurance Company. Sapir recognized a bright student when he saw one and took Whorf under his wing.

This collection provides a fascinating profile of a sophisticated
modern who understood the legitimate purposes of both science and art.

THE LEGACY OF BENJAMIN LEE WHORF (2008) explore the important differences between these men--whose ideas are often yoked together.
(For more on the CD-ROM, see [...] and click on "media."

Peter Rollins
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