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The Political Lives of Dead Bodies: Reburial and Postsocialist Change

Katherine Verdery

April, 1999
Paper, 208 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-11231-4
$29.00 / £20.00

Since 1989, scores of bodies across Eastern Europe have been exhumed and brought to rest in new gravesites. Katherine Verdery investigates why certain corpses—the bodies of revolutionary leaders, heroes, artists, and other luminaries, as well as more humble folk—have taken on a political life in the turbulent times following the end of Communist Party rule, and what roles they play in revising the past and reorienting the present. Enlivening and invigorating the dialogue on postsocialist politics, this imaginative study helps us understand the dynamic and deeply symbolic nature of politics—and how it can breathe new life into old bones.

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About the Author

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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