This slim but powerful book is one of the most recent products of the modern cross cultural correlational studies pioneered by the author. . . . It should interest just about anyone who investigates folk medicine, religion, and magic, or who teaches courses dealing with these subjects.
An important contribution to medical anthropology, this work defines the principal causes if illness that are reported throughout the world, distinguishing those involving natural causation from the more widely prevalent hypotheses advancing supernatural explanations.
The titan of comparative ethnography, George Peter Murdock, has added one more volume to his prodigious production: Theories of Illness. . . . Thought-provoking and delightfully written. It deserves the attention of a wide audience.
"Theories of Illness will be most interesting and useful to those who are already familiar with, and sympathetic to, the methods and basic assumptions of the comparative method in cross-cultural research. It contains an excellent and thorough, though brief, introduction to the history of this sort of research, and an equally good presentation of the methods used."
Theories of Illness is a valuable book. . . . The practical ramifications are also extremely broad. . . . Should be stimulating and thought-provoking to those in the social and medical sciences.
Murdock has written an intriguing little book. Full of fascinating findings, some serendipitous, Theories of Illness should be read by all medical anthropologists, but especially by those interested in ethnomedicine and native theories of illness causation.