“French social thought of the desperate years,” says H. Stuart Hughes, “began with history and ended with anthropology.” To be more exact, it changed rather than ended in 1955 with the publication of Tristes Tropiques, Lévi-Strauss’ autobiographical anthropology. The book not only made him famous but paved the way for his Structural Anthropology (1958) and for the acceptance of structuralism—the systematic attempt to uncover deep universal mental structures as these manifest themselves in kinship and larger social structures, in literature, philosophy and mathematics, and in the unconscious psychological patterns that motivate human behavior. 1 Since then, both the theory and methodology of structuralism have taken on a variety of forms: some make partial use of Lévi-Strauss’ method; others bypass him; and still others directly apply specific components of phonetic theory. But because Lévi-Strauss was first to adapt Saussurean linguistics to the social sciences, I am assessing the other structuralisms in relation to his ideas. And I am focusing, particularly in my conclusion, on his understanding of Freud, Marx, and Saussure and on the intellectual differences structuralist analyses generated.