This volume in the "Trailblazers of the Modern World" series is about the famous and important anthropologist Margaret Mead. She believed that the ways people behave are shared by the cultures they live in, and that different cultures can learn from each other. Born in 1901 in Philadelphia, Mead was the oldest child of an economist and a social researcher. Margaret's father called her "Punk" until his son was born and then he called Margaret, "the original Punk" and Richard the "boy-punk." Margaret was influenced more by her mother than father. Her mother was a social reformer and believed America needed to treat all people fairly. Mead's grandmother Martha also influenced her. She wrote about her in her autobiography, Blackberry Winter. Mead wanted to attend Wellesley, but she went to DePauw University because it was less expensive. She did not like DePauw and transferred to Barnard College in New York City. She studied with Franz Boas, a well-known anthropologist. During the 1920s and 1930s, she traveled to the Pacific Islands to study Native culture. Her work there produced a book called Coming of Age in Samoa which became an important book on cultural studies. She went on to write three dozen books and many articles; she also gave hundreds of lectures. Mead's personal life was an interesting one. She married three times and had one daughter. She had a long-standing friendship with a woman named Ruth Benedict, also an anthropologist. Margaret Mead died in 1978 at the age of seventy-seven. She has left a legacy of work behind for future generations of anthropologists. Black and white and color photographs, sidebars, a timeline, glossary, and internet sites are included. 2004, WorldAlmanac Library, Ages 10 up.
Della A. Yannuzzi
Gr 5-8-Each title opens with an overview of the individual's accomplishments before moving on to the subject's childhood, career, and legacy. Mediocre to average-quality, captioned, color and black-and-white photographs support the texts. The dry writing styles and lack of anecdotes can make reading about these interesting people a chore for anyone not looking for quick facts, but students will find ample material for reports. David Collins's Farmworker's Friend (Carolrhoda, 1996), Julie Castiglia's Margaret Mead (Silver Burdett, 1989), and Frances Davis's Frank Lloyd Wright (Lerner, 1996) are more informative and livelier series titles.-Michael Giller, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.