David Graeber's Email & Phone Number

American anthropologist

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About David Graeber

đź“– Summary

David Graeber was an American anthropologist, anarchist activist, and influential political thinker known for his work on debt, bureaucracy, and the Occupy Wall Street movement. He was born in New York City in 1961 and grew up in a family that valued education and social justice. Graeber's father was a self-taught Chicago labor historian, and his mother was a garment worker-turned-IBMer. Graeber attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, then received his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Purchase, and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Graeber's academic work was characterized by a deep commitment to understanding and challenging the structures of power and inequality in human societies. His first major work, "Debt: The First 5,000 Years," challenged conventional economic and historical thinking about the origins and nature of debt and money. In the book, Graeber argued that debt has been a fundamental aspect of human societies for thousands of years, long pre-dating the development of barter and monetary systems. He also critiqued the idea that money has emerged out of barter and provided a historical account of the role of debt in human affairs.

In addition to his academic work, Graeber was a committed activist. He was involved in numerous social and political movements, including the Global Justice Movement and Occupy Wall Street. Graeber played a key role in the early days of the Occupy movement, helping to formulate its famous "We Are the 99%" slogan and participating in the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park. Graeber's activism was informed by his anthropological research, and he was known for his ability to articulate radical critiques of contemporary capitalism and bureaucracy in accessible and compelling ways.

Graeber's impact on both academic and activist circles was significant. His work on debt, bureaucracy, and capitalism has been widely influential, and he was known for his willingness to challenge received wisdom and develop new and provocative ideas. In addition to his scholarly work, Graeber was a prolific writer and public intellectual, contributing essays and articles to a wide range of publications and engaging with a broad public audience.

David Graeber's sudden death in 2020 was a shock to many who had been influenced by his work. In the wake of his passing, there was an outpouring of remembrances and tributes from colleagues, friends, and admirers around the world. Graeber's work continues to be a source of inspiration for those seeking to understand and transform the world we live in.

Overall, David Graeber was a multifaceted figure whose impact was felt in both academic and activist circles. His work on debt, bureaucracy, and capitalism challenged established orthodoxies and provided new frameworks for understanding the complexities of human societies. Graeber's commitment to social justice and his ability to communicate complex ideas to a broad audience made him a singular figure in contemporary anthropology and political thought. His untimely death left a void in both the scholarly and activist communities, but his legacy continues to resonate and inspire those who seek to create a more just and equitable world.

Frequently Asked Questions about David Graeber

What is David Graeber known for?

Graeber was a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, known for his sharp critiques of capitalism and bureaucracy as well as his anarchist views.Sep 3, 2020

Was David Graeber a Marxist?

This is my word more than his: David would likely have preferred “bureaucracy and markets”. He always remained a Maussian anarchist and a humanist who did not like the language of Marxism.Sep 4, 2020

Why is David Graeber an anarchist?

Graeber argued that the Occupy Wall Street movement's lack of recognition of the legitimacy of either existing political institutions or the legal structure, its embrace of non-hierarchical consensus decision-making and of prefigurative politics made it a fundamentally anarchist project.

How old was David Graeber?

59 years (1961–2020)

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