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Author and anthropologist David Graeber dies at 59

Anthropologist, activist and author David Graeber passed away at the age of 59. Graeber aided in organising the Occupy Wall Street movement, and was famed for books like Debt: The First 5000 Years, The Utopia of Rules and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory. His final book, The Dawn of Everything: a New History of Humanity, co-written with David Wengrow, will be published in 2021. The news of his death was confirmed by his partner and artist Nika Dubrovsky on Twitter.

“David was a hugely influential anthropologist, political activist and public intellectual. Our community of staff and students will not be the same now he is gone, but we know his brilliant work will be read by generations to come,” Professor Laura Bear, head of the anthropology department at LSE was quoted by Associated Press (AP).

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It was Graeber who had popularised the phrase, “We are the 99 per cent”. His constant critique of capitalism and bureaucracy was well known and documented in his books. One of the most popular figures in the Occupy Wall Street movement, he was a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE) at the time of passing away.

The report in AP states that Graeber’s interest in anthropology was piqued “after developing an odd hobby translating Mayan hieroglyphics as a young man”.  He went on to receive a scholarship to attend Phillips Academy at Andover. From there he went to State University of New York at Purchase and completed his PhD from the University of Chicago. He finally joined Yale University.

(With inputs from AP)

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