The Rise of Anthropological Theory

Short Reviews:

by Phoebe Adams

by Marvin Harris. Crowell, $16.50. Dr. Harris’ interesting and frequently disrespectful summary of the permutations of ideas about culture since the eighteenth century has a more than historical purpose. The author would have anthropologists go beyond the unreflective pack-ratting of data and resume the search for patterns of activity from which generally applicable theories of human social development may be derived. He would also have them give up the pretense of objectivity in favor of judgments on the practical (not moral) effectiveness of any given culture. The implication is that anthropology can and should make useful contribution to international schemes for economic improvement.