The Poet in the Laboratory

October 28th, 2010

Claude Levi-Strauss, who died a year ago at age 100, was one of the towering intellectuals of the 20th Century. Just as Freud shook up the discipline of psychiatry, so Levi-Strauss revolutionized anthropology. He transformed it from the colonial era study of "exotic" tribes to a discipline consumed with fundamental questions about he nature of humanity and civilization. While he was aggressive in pushing the theories of his time, his ideas and the quality of his work, still resonate today. Patrick Wilcken's, new biography of Levi-Strauss Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory, gives us an evocative journey in the one of the last century's most influential minds. My conversation with Patrick Wilcken: