Rites of Power Symbolism, Ritual and Politics Since the Middle Ages
- List Price: $26.50
- Binding: Paperback
- Publisher: Univ of Pennsylvania Pr
- Publish date: 04/01/1999
- ISBN: 9780812216950
- ISBN10: 0812216954
The essays begin with three assumptions: that all societies are ordered and governed by "master fictions" (divine right, equality for all) which make political hierarchy appear natural; that political rhetoric includes nonverbal communication (royal portraits, statistics on crop yields); and that common rhetoric can mean different things to various segments of a culture ("states' rights" during the American Civil War).
Societies studied include France and Spain in the Middle Ages, post-Revolutionary France, the modern British monarchy, tsarist Russia, colonial Virginia, and industrial Germany. The essays were selected to provide methodological, as well as historical, coverage; the result is a comprehensive treatment along the cutting edge of several disciplines. This book will appeal to scholars and students in the fields of history, political science, sociology, anthropology, and art history.