Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams

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Palgrave Macmillan, Dec 14, 2001 - Social Science - 337 pages
8 Reviews
This innovative book is the first comprehensive synthesis of economic, political, and cultural theories of value. David Graeber reexamines a century of anthropological thought about value and exchange, in large measure to find a way out of quandaries in current social theory, which have become critical at the present moment of ideological collapse in the face of Neoliberalism. Rooted in an engaged, dynamic realism, Graeber argues that projects of cultural comparison are in a sense necessarily revolutionary projects: He attempts to synthesize the best insights of Karl Marx and Marcel Mauss, arguing that these figures represent two extreme, but ultimately complementary, possibilities in the shape such a project might take. Graeber breathes new life into the classic anthropological texts on exchange, value, and economy. He rethinks the cases of Iroquois wampum, Pacific kula exchanges, and the Kwakiutl potlatch within the flow of world historical processes, and recasts value as a model of human meaning-making, which far exceeds rationalist/reductive economist paradigms.

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Review: Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams

User Review  - Sam Bowman - Goodreads

The book where Graeber kills Post-Modernism. Read it. Read full review

Review: Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams

User Review  - Deanna Knippling - Goodreads

Crap, I have no idea how to review this book. So complex, and written for people more familiar with the field. But it did underline how difficult it is to extricate the idea of value from culture. I ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

David Graeber teaches anthropology at Yale University. He is currently writing an ethnography of direct action as well as working with the Direct Action Network, People's Global Action, and Ya Basta!.

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