Authenticity is taken-for-granted as an absolute value in contemporary life. In 'Culture and Authenticity,' Charles Lindholm calls upon anthropological case studies from different cultures, historical material, and comparative philosophy, to explore how notions of authenticity develop, what forms it takes, and how it changes over time. Examines the idea of authenticity and its role in modern culture Explores society's preoccupation with authenticity and the search for 'real' experiences Looks at how the concept of authenticity intersects with questions about religion, ethnicity, and race Investigates authenticity in the context of fields such as dance, cuisine, travel, and the modern marketplace Authenticity is taken for granted as an absolute value in contemporary life. We speak of authentic art, music, food, dance, and people. Authenticity can be found in moments of extreme danger, in the pleasures of carnival, in the taste of champagne. As anthropologist Charles Lindholm shows in this engaging new book, the hope for an authentic experience draws us to charismatic leaders, expressive artists, and social movements; it makes us into trendy consumers, creative performers, and fanatical collectors. It also can lead to the bloodshed of ethnic cleansing. In 'Culture and Authenticity,' Lindholm argues that the pervasive desire for authenticity is a consequence of a modern loss of faith and meaning. Authenticity, in its many guises, offers seekers a sense of belonging, connection and solidity. Yet, even as authenticity has become more valued, it has become more elusive and remote. Calling upon anthropological case studies from different cultures, historical material, and comparative philosophy, he explores how notions of authenticity develop, what forms it takes, and how it changes over time. This exciting text takes us on a journey of the human quest for the authentic, and how it has been imagined, described, analyzed, and realized by individuals and collectives.