Metals, Culture and Capitalism is an ambitious, broad-ranging account of the search for metals in Europe and the Near East from the Bronze Age to the Industrial Revolution and the relationship between this and economic activity, socio-political structures and the development of capitalism. Continuing his criticism of Eurocentric traditions, a theme explored in The Theft of History (2007) and Renaissances (2009), Jack Goody takes the Bronze Age as a starting point for a balanced account of the East and the West, seeking commonalities that recent histories overlook. Considering the role of metals in relation to early cultures, the European Renaissance and 'modernity' in general, Goody explores how the search for metals entailed other forms of knowledge, as well as the arts, leading to changes that have defined Europe and the contemporary world. This landmark text, spanning centuries, cultures and continents, promises to inspire scholars and students across the social sciences.
In Myth, Ritual and the Oral Jack Goody, one of the world's most distinguished anthropologists, returns to the related themes of myth, orality and literacy, subjects that have long been a touchstone in anthropological thinking. Combining classic papers with recent unpublished work, this volume brings together some of the most important essays written on these themes in the past half century, representative of a lifetime of critical engagement and research. In characteristically clear and accessible style, Jack Goody addresses fundamental conceptual schemes underpinning modern anthropology, providing potent critiques of current theoretical trends. Drawing upon his highly influential work on the LoDagaa myth of the Bagre, Goody challenges structuralist and functionalist interpretations of oral 'literature', stressing the issues of variation, imagination and creativity, and the problems of methodology and analysis. These insightful, and at times provocative, essays will stimulate fresh debate and prove invaluable to students and teachers of social anthropology.
Professor Jack Goody builds on his own previous work to extend further his highly influential critique of what he sees as the pervasive eurocentric or occidentalist biases of so much western historical writing. Goody also examines the consequent 'theft' by the West of the achievements of other cultures in the invention of (notably) democracy, capitalism, individualism, and love. The Theft of History discusses a number of theorists in detail, including Marx, Weber and Norbert Elias, and engages with critical admiration western historians like Fernand Braudel, Moses Finlay and Perry Anderson. Major questions of method are raised, and Goody proposes a new comparative methodology for cross-cultural analysis, one that gives a much more sophisticated basis for assessing divergent historical outcomes, and replaces outmoded simple differences between East and West. The Theft of History will be read by an unusually wide audience of historians, anthropologists and social theorists.
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