Ruth Benedict: A Humanist in Anthropology / Edition 30

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Overview

Margaret Mead-a friend, colleague, and onetime lover of Ruth Benedict's-discusses her writings, private life, and professional accomplishments and offers a deeply insightful portrait of one of the most compelling figures in twentieth-century American intellectual life. In this classic work, Mead defends and illuminates Benedict's groundbreaking humanistic approach to anthropology and her most important works.

Mead also presents Benedict's work in the context of her personal struggles. Benedict was a shy young woman, who felt alienated from the expectations of her conservative family and early twentieth-century American society. Ultimately, Benedict came to define her life through her extraordinary work in anthropology and a passionate belief that the discipline should speak to contemporary ethical and political questions. She was a staunch defender of intellectual freedom, an antifascist activist in the 1930s, and an analyst of culture in the Office of War Information during World War II.

This edition includes new forewords by two leading Benedict scholars, which address the relationship between Mead and Benedict and their place in contemporary anthropology.

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What People Are Saying

Lois Banner

Mead's biography of Benedict stands as both an important historical reckoning and a documentation of a mode of anthropological understanding in the discipline's early years. We can learn a good deal about professional commitment and the history of the intellect in the twentieth century through reading it.

Lois Banner, from the foreword to Ruth Benedict

Lois Banner

Mead's biography of Benedict stands as both an important historical reckoning and a documentation of a mode of anthropological understanding in the discipline's early years. We can learn a good deal about professional commitment and the history of the intellect in the twentieth century through reading it.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231134903
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 10/26/2005
  • Series: Columbia Classics in Anthropology Series
  • Edition description: Thirtieth Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 30
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Mead was one of the most influential anthropologists of the twentieth century. She was the author of Coming of Age in Samoa, among other works.Lois Banner is professor of history and gender studies at the University of Southern California. Her works include Intertwined Lives: Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Their Circle.Nancy Lutkehaus is an associate professor of anthropology and chair of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Southern California. She is author of Zaria's Fire: Engendered Moments in Manam Ethnography, Papua New Guinea, as well as work about Margaret Mead.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Foreword
Ruth Benedict, a humanist in anthropology 1
Selected papers 79
Configurations in culture in North America 80
Magic 105
An introduction to Zuni mythology 115
Primitive freedom 134
Self-discipline in Japanese culture 146
The study of cultural patterns in European nations 159
Anthropology and the humanities 165
Selected bibliography of the writings of Ruth Benedict 177
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