Person and Myth: Maurice Leenhardt in the Melanesian World
by James Clifford
Duke University Press, 1992
Paper: 978-0-8223-1264-2
Library of Congress Classification GN21.L373C57 1992
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.092

Originally published in 1982, James Clifford's analytical biography of Maurice Leenhardt (1878–1954)—missionary, anthropologist, founder of French Oceanic studies, historian of religion, and colonial reformer—received wide critical acclaim for its insight into the colonial history of anthropology. Drawing extensively on unpublished letters and journals, Clifford traces Leenhardt's life from his work as a missionary on the island of New Caledonia (1902–1926) to his subsequent return to Paris where he became an academic anthropologist at the École Practique des Hautes Études, where he followed Marcel Mauss and was succeeded in 1951 by Claude Lévi-Strauss. Clifford sees in Leenhardt's career a foreshadowing of contemporary anthropological concerns with reflexivity, cultural hybridity, and colonial and post-colonial entanglements.

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