TRISTES TROPIQUES by Claude Levi-Strauss
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Claude Levi-Strauss, the renowned French anthropologist, now makes his invaluable investigations available to the English reading public via John Russell's competent translation of Tristes ques. Written in the first person, this is the story of the author's extensive penetration of the Amazon basin and the jungles of Brazil where he sought out the most fundamental example of human society in the tribes of the Amerindian. Living among the Caduveo, the Bororo, the Nambikwara and the Topi-Kawahib, he was able to observe the customs, structures and life of primitive, societies in their purest forms. His account is detailed and overflowing with fascinating descriptions filtered through the insightful interpretations of a keen and inquisitive mind. Each firsthand experience sets off a series of reflections and explanations which carries the reader from the external custom witnessed to its underlying significance. But perhaps the most vital aspect of the book is its philosophical approach, for this is an anthropologist who is not bogged down in quantitative superficials, but is ultimately concerned with broad and universal questions.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1961
ISBN: 0140165622
Publisher: Criterion