Their topics include the tinted lens of Ancient Society: classical history and the American experience in the ethnology of Lewis Henry Morgan
, the feast and commensal politics: ancient Greek prefiguration of anthropological concerns, arboreal animists: the (ab)use of Roman sacred trees in early anthropology, the Magna Graecia of Ernesto de Martino: studying ancient and contemporary evil eye, and comparativism then and now.
As Gardner and McConvell say, it was a 'hybrid book of data, analysis and critique' (4) consisting of a number of essays, three by Fison and two by Howitt, plus a fairly long 'prefatory note' by Lewis Henry Morgan
. It is the direct connection to Morgan in the United States, and Morgan's transatlantic tussles with evolutionary theorists in Great Britain, particularly John Lubbock and John McLennan, that motivates the title Southern Anthropology, since this is a story about the relationship between global 'core' and 'periphery', and a retelling of the influences they had on each other, both positive and negative.
He was also the brother of the famous Ely Parker, who was both a sachem and a brevet general in the Civil War and, as I pointed out in an earlier column, a seminal source of information about Iroquois culture for such writers as Lewis Henry Morgan
. (Morgan's League of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois, in fact, was deeply important to Arthur Parker, and he referred to it often throughout his life.
However, the Soviet grasp of ethnography stemmed, as did that of Marx and Engels, from the simplistic, unilinear evolution of Lewis Henry Morgan
. British and French versions derived from the work of Edward Tylor, which was only marginally better.
[bar] A picture of Lewis Henry Morgan
taken in Gibraltar
He recently published his first book, The Promise of Progress: The Life and Work of Lewis Henry Morgan
. He lives in Jerusalem.
Ironically, in his discussion of the books of Lewis Henry Morgan
, Trachtenberg mentions Morgan's friend, Francis Parkman, and refers to him parenthetically as "no particular friend of the Indian" (20).
They were delivered as the 1968 Lewis Henry Morgan
Lectures at the University of Rochester.