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Savaging the Civilized: Verrier Elwin, His Tribals, and India
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Savaging the Civilized: Verrier Elwin, His Tribals, and India

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  42 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Verrier Elwin (1902-1964) was unquestionably the most colorful and influential non-official Englishman to live and work in twentieth-century India. A prolific writer, Elwin's ethnographic studies and popular works on India's tribal customs, art, myth and folklore continue to generate controversy.

Described by his contemporaries as a cross between Albert Schweitzer and Paul
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by University Of Chicago Press
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Dec 06, 2008 Raghu rated it really liked it
Recommended to Raghu by: Nityananda
Dr. Verrier Elwin is probably forgotten completely in Britain today. For the generation like me, who were born in independent India after 1947, Dr.Elwin is an unknown quantity because our history books do not even mention him by name, leave alone talk about his achievements in India. It is such a pity because it is the loss of us Indians that we have to learn about him and his role in contemporary Indian history through such splendid works like that of Dr.Guha. Prior to reading this book, I had ...more
Apr 30, 2016 Deegi rated it it was amazing
Five stars is for the author to write a wonderful book about a British prist turned Indian anthropologist. The book presents not only an insight to the life and events of Verrier Elwin but also to state of tribals in independent India. The book has attempted to voice the contradicting views as to how tribals should become a part of mainstream 'civilized' life. Barring the criticism Verrier had faced during his lifetime and after, which broadly has strings of personal grudge and jealosy, his cont ...more
Kavinder Negi
Jun 14, 2015 Kavinder Negi rated it liked it
Verrier Elwin appears occasionally in the books on Indian sociology wherever a reference to the tribal studies is made. This book goes on to introduce the human side of this Oxford scholar, who for most part remained limited to academics.
This book is story of Elwin's life in India. It tells us how a protestant missionary worker transformed with passage of time from a christian to a buddhist (at the very end of his life). It tells how someone who came under the spell of Gandhi ji in the initial
Rohan Arthur
Feb 17, 2015 Rohan Arthur rated it really liked it
This is a rollicking biography of a fascinating and complex personality. Guha does a wonderful job of carefully unpacking the paths Elwin took from clergyman to Gandhi-man to anthropologist in his brief but impactful life. As biography, this book succeeds marvellously. It is slightly less successful in its claims to describe the historical context and the tribal question that Elwin forced into the public consciousness. These, perhaps necessarily, provide only a faint wash against which Guha pain ...more
Kapil Yadav
May 08, 2016 Kapil Yadav rated it it was amazing
I am so glad I found Verrier Elwin through this biography. Verrier Elwin is the (activist) anthropologist for me.
definitely..the book gives a very good insight into the life of one of the most colourfull and controversial social and cultural anthropologists who made india his home and contributed so much ....lovely reading.
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Ramachandra Guha was born in Dehradun in 1958, and educated in Delhi and Calcutta. He has taught at the University of Oslo, Stanford, and Yale, and at the Indian Institute of Science. He has been a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and also served as the Indo-American Community Chair Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

After a peripatetic academic career, with
More about Ramachandra Guha...

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