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Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War and Lost the Cold War
Celebrated anthropologist Margaret Mead, who studied sex in Samoa and child-rearing in New Guinea in the 1920s and '30s, was determined to show that anthropology could tackle the psychology of the most complex, modern societies in ways useful for waging the Second World War. This fascinating book follows Mead and her closest collaborators—her lover and mentor Ruth Benedict ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Yale University Press
(first published January 1st 2013)
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This was a very closely researched, well-written, and even-handed account of Mead, Benedict, Bateson, (some Cora Du Bois), and culture and personality during WWII. I'd recommend it for anyone trying to cut through the politics and history surrounding the debates of this period. I felt like I learned a lot about Mead -- bravo to Mandler for his work on this fascinating and under-scrutinized period of Mead's life and anthropology's involvement in politics.
May 12, 2017 Maggie Roessler added it
After Margaret Mead had studied laid-back Samoans, native Americans, grim Manus fishers, three Sepik tribes, and the dancing people of Bali, she headed back to America and found herself stuck there. Because of the war, she couldn't travel to any exotic locales. Instead, during this time, she and many other anthropologists applied their tools to modern cultures -- in Mead's case, America, England, Germany, and Russia. Drawing on neo-Freudian ideas, she looked at how different family practices in ...more