Place in the Author’s Work
Before Clifford Geertz collected his essays and published them as The Interpretation of Cultures, he spent 10 years as the professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago. In this period, from 1960 to 1970, Geertz focused his research on two Indonesian* islands, Java and Bali, resulting in three books: Religion of Java (1960), Agricultural Involution (1963), and Peddlers and Princes (also 1963). Although Geertz had changed his intellectual standpoint slightly over the years, he resisted the temptation to write his "changed view back into earlier works" and left the essays' central arguments untouched. When the book, originally published in 1973, was reissued in 2000, the only substantive thing Geertz added to the original edition was an introductory chapter. From the 1980s onward, Geertz published theoretical essays and reviews for the New York Review of Books.