From Library Journal
Kertzer (anthropology, Bowdoin) credibly argues that political symbols manifested through rites explain much of the political life of modern nations, contrary to the usual rational, utilitarian, and interest-group explanations. He argues that rituals are not merely meaningful to the poorly educatedelites use rituals to support the existing order and revolutionaries use them to replace it. He provides numerous examples from primitive and modern societies (including the United States). The book will appeal to many political scientists and general readers. Although well documented, it avoids much of the vocabulary of academe. Recommended for academic and public libraries. David Steiniche, Missouri Western State Coll., St. Joseph
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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About the Author
David Kertzer is Professor of Social Science, and Professor of Anthropology and History, Brown University. He was National Book Award Finalist for The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, and is the author of Politics and Symbols (1996), Sacrificed for Honor (1993), Ritual Politics and Power (1988), Comrades and Christians (1980), and several other books. Among his recent edited books are Anthropological Demography (with Tom Fricke, 1997) and Aging the Past (with Peter Laslett (1995).