A RUNAWAY WORLD? The BBC Reith Lectures, 1967 by Edmund Leach

A RUNAWAY WORLD? The BBC Reith Lectures, 1967

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Quite rightly, British reviewers blasted this little book of befuddled radio lectures on ""evolutionary humanism."" Leach, an able academic anthropologist, parades here as apostle of pup (and pop) culture: ""In our runaway world, no one much over the age of forty-five is really fit to teach anybody anything."" The young go mod and anarchistic to demonstrate their reaction against ""the principle of a predetermined ossified, class-stratified society."" Leach too hates anything ossified, and he suggests that man is changing in nature and as he now has the capability to order his own world ought to behave like a god: ""Gods have more fun."" These lectures--on the whole quite fuzzy--stirred his middle-class BBC listeners, who even agreed. The reviewers who didn't, Leach calls (in an ungracious postscript) old women. Ourselves no upholders of British class structure--also see his Reith Lectures as banal. Not because they restate what everybody knows, but because much of what they say simply is not true: anthropology, not sociological musing, is Leach's proper metier.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1968
Publisher: Oxford