Death and the right hand
By Robert Hertz
Translated by Claudia Needham, Rodney Needham
Published October 10th 2008 by Routledge – 256 pages
First published in English 1960.
The historical value of Hertz's writings is that they are a representative example of the culmination of two centuries of development of sociological thought in France, from Montesquieu to Durkheim and his pupils. In the intervening years since publication, that development has grown into the systematic comparative study of primitive institutions, based on a great body of ethnographic facts from all over the world: in effect social anthropology.