The Political Lives of Dead Bodies: Reburial and Postsocialist Change

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Columbia University Press, 1999 - Social Science - 185 pages
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

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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