Dan's Reviews > The New Golden Bough

The New Golden Bough by James George Frazer
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Aug 27, 09

bookshelves: anthropology
Read in December, 1989, read count: 1

As Albert Einsteinis to physics, Charles Darwinto biology, Karl Marxto social theory and Sigmund Freudto psychology, so is Sir James G. Frazer to anthropology. The Golden Bough is an ambitious work in which Frazer works with field reports describing superstitions and practices, and theorizes that the folk rituals he discusses can be traced back to ancient times and an annual event in the forest at Nemi. From a contemporary point of view, it can be argued that Frazer’s approach is reductive, and indeed anthropology has largely discredited his work (even as psychological theory has moved beyond Freudian thought). Nevertheless, Frazer’s work supplies the reader with an interesting perspective on such rituals as May Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
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