THE NEW GOLDEN BOUGH by James George Frazer


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A new abridgement of this classic work has been made by Dr. Theodor H. Gaster, which would seem to be of more potential value than the presently available one-volume edition, (Macmillan). Scholarship has brought to light some inaccuracies and some untenable conclusions. These have been eliminated. A supplement has been added, in the form of notes, a kind of running commentary which provides alternative views, criticism of Frazer's presentation, bibliographical data. There is a General Introduction, giving the editor's modifications and reasons therefor, and there are short prefaces to the main units of the book. There's a preliminary synopsis of the overall argument, and a new Analytical Table of Contents. The Text includes some 700 odd items not found in the Macmillan edition, a different set of examples, the result of modern scholarship, and eliminates dubious sections, as a result of different and more up-to-date orientation. There is far more extensive documentation, incorporating Frazer's own notes. Dr. Gaster's own material provides virtually a kind of companion bibliographical guide on every main topic covered in the original work.... In view of the basic contribution made by this work, this new one volume abridgement should prove indispensable for all libraries, public and college, and for private ownership where the scholar has need for this vital reference tool in the field of anthropology.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1959
Publisher: Criterion