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September 20 , 2007

The Oxford Tribe


When Peter Rudiak-Gould was twenty-four years old, he left his native America and sought out a legendary city, a millennium in age and the color of gold. This was Oxford: a place as celebrated and coveted as Bali Ha’i or Shangri-La – and, with its unscalable walls, forbidden gardens, and exacting admissions criteria, nearly as inaccessible, as well. But Peter had a golden ticket. He arrived as an undercover anthropologist, disguised as a graduate student of anthropology: a party crasher crashing a costume party costumed as a party crasher.
This is the story of one year in this “city of dreaming spires”, at the world’s oldest English-speaking university. It is a memoir of falling in love with a place, marrying it, then meeting it – and an anthropological field guide to the dons, the postmodernists, the freshers and finishers, the exhibitioners, wardens, postgraduates, scouts, porters, and other noble savages and savage nobles that call the place home. Part memoir, part travelogue, part satire, The Oxford Tribe will entertain the seasoned traveler and the armchair philosopher alike.

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