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General Theory of Magic (Marcel Mauss) Hardcover Book, (Routledge, 2001) 9780415255509

Title: General Theory of Magic

Author: Mauss, Marcel

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis; Publication Date: 2001

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780415255509

Volumes: 1; Pages: 192

List Price in Hardcover: $120.00 Our price: $120.00

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First written by Marcel Mauss and Henri Humbert in 1902, A General Theory of Magic gained a wide new readership when republished by Mauss in 1950. As a study of magic in 'primitive' societies and its survival today in our thoughts and social actions, it represents what Claude L vi-Strauss called, in an introduction to that edition, the astonishing modernity of the mind of one of the century's greatest thinkers. The book offers a fascinating snapshot of magic throughout various cultures as well as deep sociological and religious insights still very much relevant today. At a period when art, magic and science appear to be crossing paths once again, A General Theory of Magic presents itself as a classic for our times.


"The Routledge Classics, an intellectually compelling, and sometimes daunting, selection of important nonfiction originally published by the leftish Routledge or one of its imprints.[a] superb and welcome series."--Martin Levin, Globe & Mail

"It is enough to recall that Mauss' influence is not limited to ethnographers, none of whom could claim to have escaped it, but extends also to linguists, psychologists, historians or religion and orientalists."--Claude L vi-Strauss

"Marcel Mauss, Emile Durkheim's nephew and most distinguished pupil, was a man of unusual ability and learning, and also of integrity and strong conviction. After Durkheim's death he was the leading figure in French sociology."--Sir E. E. Evans-Pritchard

Table of Contents


Prologue1. Sources and Historical Background

2. A Definition of Magic

3. The Elements of Magic

The Magician

The Actions


General Observations

4. An Analysis and Explanation of Magic


5. An Analysis of Ideological Explanations Concerning the Effectiveness of Ritual


Collective States and Collective Forces


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