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ROFESSOR WALLIS'S book is in
D many ways distinctive. He has
carefully kept in mind the fact that he was writing a mere inoduction to that wide field of scientific owledge known as anthropology, and is avoided theory as much as possible. e will not burden his text with theetical vaporings. Rather he advises e student to grasp the facts first and, en build up his own inferences and eories. In anthrology generalizaons are dangerous as the author ints out; the more one studies the field e more cautious does one become in aking the enticing inference/ The outstanding feature of the present lume is the treatment which ealth of introductory anthropological formation is given. Hitherto textbooks! anthropology have stressed the geogphy of culture, or its history, or a genal view of pl.ysical evolution, racial assification and cultural progress. Few oks have even attempted to sum up e findings of anthropology in the variis fields with which it deals. One had
turn to highly specialized discussions, cyclopedias or monographs to get inrmation on a particular field, and at at all that one mastered was some y bit of the special field that one was is investigating. There was no text hich would take each field and give
at least a preliminary survey of all its rts. This lack the author has tried to ovide for; in his volume the various ecial fields of anthropology are viewed perspective-we get a synthetic view all their parts and we note their inrrelation. We are given a series of rizontal cuts through all cultures ong the line of the special field being scussed. Thus, under Part III, one ay read chapters on the domestication
animals, trade, money and finance, ods. All these chapters are grouped ider the general title of "Economic and dustrial Activity." Under the general ad of "Science, Magic and Religion" e treatments of "geography, psychol. y, charms." Probably the most interting part of the book is the section led "Social Morphology and Culture" ider which comes a most interesting ray of chapters: ethics, opinion, status. the child, birth rites, marriage rites, ath rites, mythology, decorative art. It is very pleasant, for instance, be able to read about the position of omen in prehistoric culture periods, ting what one culture did and what other did not do, getting a compre nsive and not too detailed view of the pole matter.
105 TY DAD
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is to "depict primitive man in his vari ous aspects, so that we may have of sav. agery an understanding comparable with our understanding of civilization." It is quite impossible to completely understand savagery, and the author admits as much in his preface. But that is no ex cuse for not attempting it, he notes. Partial understanding is better than no understanding at all, an old saw, to be sure, but quite in keeping with Goethe's more polished bon mot to the effect that only the incomprehensible is worthy of efforts. The author's attempt, is one that fetches nothing new in the way of information to the top of the anthropologist's growing mass of information, but it most assuredly presents the agglomeration of facts in orderly and interesting fashion. Without doubt, this "Introduction to Anthropology" will find great favor with those who seek a beginner's glimpse inte the field of primitive culture as well as with those who teach the subject.