Iron in the soul

Peter Loïzos. 2008. Iron in the soul. Displacement, livelihood and health in Cyprus
London and New York: Berghahn Books. (224 pages) ISBN 978-1-84545-484-5

In his vivid, lively account of how Greek Cypriot villagers coped with a thirty-year displacement, Peter Loïzos follows a group of people whom he encountered as prosperous farmers in 1968, yet found as disoriented refugees when revisiting in 1975. By providing a forty year in-depth perspective unusual in the social sciences, this study yields unconventional insights into the deeper meanings of displacement. It focuses on reconstruction of livelihoods, conservation of family, community, social capital, health (both physical and mental), religious and political perceptions. The author argues for a closer collaboration between anthropology and the life sciences, particularly medicine and social epidemiology, but suggests that qualitative life-history data have an important role to play in the understanding of how people cope with collective stress. Peter Loïzos, Professor Emeritus in Anthropology, London School of Economics, was born in London, studied at Cambridge, Harvard and L.S.E., where he taught Social Anthropology for thirty-three years.