Letters from the field, 1925-1975

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Harper & Row, 1979 - Biography & Autobiography - 361 pages

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LETTERS FROM THE FIELD, 1925-1975

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When Margaret Mead left for Samoa in 1925, she had never been abroad, never spoken a foreign language, never spent a day alone. These letters were intended to acquaint a close circle of family and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Samoa 19251926
19
Pere Village Manus Admiralty Islands 19281929
59
Copyright

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About the author (1979)

Margaret Mead, an American anthropologist, was for most of her life the most illustrious curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. She was famed not only as an anthropologist but also as a public figure, a popularizer of the social sciences, and an analyst of American society. While at Columbia University, she was a student of Franz Boas, whose teaching assistant, Ruth Benedict, became one of Mead's closest colleagues and friends; after Benedict's death, Mead became her first biographer and the custodian of her field notes and papers. Mead's early research in Samoa led to her best selling book, "Coming of Age in Samoa" (1928); it also led, after her death, to a well-publicized attack on her work by the Australian anthropologist Derek Freeman. Her importance was not damaged by his book; in fact, there is probably a greater awareness today of the important role that she played in twentieth-century intellectual history as an advocate of tolerance, education, civil liberties, world peace, and the worldwide ecumenical movement within Christianity. She was an active and devout Episcopalian throughout her life. On January 6, 1979, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.