The Political Lives of Dead Bodies: Reburial and Postsocialist Change

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Columbia University Press, 1999 - Social Science - 185 pages
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As socialist regimes crumbled across Eastern Europe and statues of their leaders were dismantled, another pattern arose in the former Iron Curtain nations: the bodies of political leaders, revolutionary heroes, artists, and other luminaries were taken from their graves to be reinterred - and in many cases, repatriated - in new, symbolically charged locations. What forces inspired these exhumations of long-dead spirits of Eastern Europe's past, from composer Bela Bartok's New York-Budapest journey to evictions of a group of Romanian communist leaders from their exalted mausoleums to a scattering of humble graveyards? What are the effects for the living of removing the bones of the dead from their resting places for ceremonial - or unceremonious - reburial?

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The political lives of dead bodies: reburial and postsocialist change

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In this intriguing book, anthropologist Verderyby her own admission a student of dead-body politicspoints out that some corpses have lived interesting livesabove all in Eastern Europe since the fall ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Katherine Verdery is Eric R. Wolf Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. She is the author of What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next?; National Ideology Under Socialism;and Transylvanian Villagers.

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