Read Savaging the Civilized: Verrier Elwin, His Tribals, and India by Ramachandra Guha Free Online
Book Title: Savaging the Civilized: Verrier Elwin, His Tribals, and India|
The author of the book: Ramachandra Guha
Edition: University Of Chicago Press
Date of issue: April 1st 1999
ISBN 13: 9780226310473
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 28.56 MB
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Verrier Elwin (1902-1964) was unquestionably the most colorful and influential non-official Englishman to live and work in twentieth-century India. A prolific writer, Elwin's ethnographic studies and popular works on India's tribal customs, art, myth and folklore continue to generate controversy.
Described by his contemporaries as a cross between Albert Schweitzer and Paul Gauguin, Elwin was a man of contradictions, at times taking on the role of evangelist, social worker, political activist, poet, government worker, and more. He rubbed elbows with the elite of both Britain and India, yet found himself equally at home among the impoverished and destitute. Intensely political, the Oxford-trained scholar tirelessly defended the rights of the indigenous and, despite the deep religious influences of St. Francis and Mahatma Gandhi on his early career, staunchly opposed Hindu and Christian puritans in the debate over the future of India's tribals. Although he was ordained as an Anglican priest, Elwin was married twice to tribal women and enthusiastically (and publicly) extolled the tribals' practice of free sex. Later, as prime minister Nehru's friend and advisor in independent India, his compelling defense of tribal hedonism made him at once hugely influential, extremely controversial, and the polemical focal point of heated discussions on tribal policy and economic development.
Savaging the Civilized is both biography and history, an exploration through Elwin's life of some of the great debates of the twentieth century: the future of development, cultural assimilation versus cultural difference, the political practice of postcolonial as opposed to colonial governments, and the moral practice of writers and intellectuals.
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Read information about the authorRamachandra Guha was born in Dehradun in 1958, and educated in Delhi and Calcutta. He has taught at the University of Oslo, Stanford, and Yale, and at the Indian Institute of Science. He has been a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and also served as the Indo-American Community Chair Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
After a peripatetic academic career, with five jobs in ten years on three continents, Guha settled down to become a full-time writer based in Bangalore. His books cover a wide range of themes, including a global history of environmentalism, a biography of an anthropologist-activist, a social history of Indian cricket, and a social history of Himalayan peasants.
Guha’s books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The prizes they have won include the U.K. Cricket Society’s Literary Award and the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History.