The Irish Countryman: An Anthropological Study

The Irish Countryman: An Anthropological Study

The Irish Countryman: An Anthropological Study

The Irish Countryman: An Anthropological Study

Excerpt

It is a rash undertaking for any man, however ripe in experience he may be, to attempt the interpretation of a nation's folk. When the nation he essays is not his own, and his experience is really but very little, rashness becomes foolhardiness. Yet when Dr. Lowell, president-emeritus of Harvard University, did me the honour of asking me to deliver a course of lectures at the Lowell Institute in Boston, in March 1936, I found myself impelled to take my courage in my hands. The book which follows represents the lectures given at the Institute. It is an attempt to present to the public some measure of the interest in human social behaviour and the absorbing problems of human societies which inspires and rewards the anthropologist and sociologist in his long quests in field and library. As my own quest had taken me on a definite, concrete mission to southern Ireland, I felt I should best serve my purpose by devoting myself to that country, which had so richly rewarded my own interest.

Consequently, if in these pages I make yet another contribution to the growing literature of commentary upon the Irish scene, I do so with a deep sense of humility and gratitude. My debts are . . .

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