Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Anthropology and Modern Life” as Want to Read:
Anthropology and Modern Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Anthropology and Modern Life

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The great anthropologist's classic treatise on race and culture. Discusses biological and cultural inheritance, the fallacy of racial, cultural or ethnic superiority, the scientific basis for human individuality, and much more. One of the most influential books of the century, now in a value-priced edition. Introduction by Ruth Bunzel. ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 1st 1987 by Dover Publications
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Anthropology and Modern Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Anthropology and Modern Life

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  182 ratings  ·  13 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Anthropology and Modern Life
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthropology
Franz Boaz was a German Jewish scholar who came to North America in the 1890s to study Native American tribes and ended up staying in the USA. He became the father of anthropology and taught many of the leading names in the early days of the field such as Ruth Benedict, Ruth Bendt and Margaret Mead. However, Boaz was also a very controversial figure. In the decades leading up to WWII, social scientists were often enamored with what I like to call the evil trinity of modern thought; eugenics, soc ...more
Dec 15, 2007 rated it liked it
This one is dense. It's good to read if you're extremely interested in the founding of modern day anthropology. I had to read this for my Foundations of Social Theory Seminar, and I'm glad I had to, but I would not pick it up in my free time. ...more
Jun 16, 2010 rated it liked it
This essay felt a little bit dated, but there was a useful treatment of the effect of race on human potential- material to keep in mind to ensure we promote a racism-free society. Boas contends that any population-averaged variations in human mental ability from race to race (if you can even properly pick out a race) would be swamped by the individual-to-individual variations due to other factors. Therefore, you should never deny any individual equal participation in society, because you can't t ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthropology
Presenting: a book far ahead of its time. Boas uses findings of anthropological research to comment upon present social issues, namely those dealing with race. Written in a time of phrenology, segregation, pre-Nazism and scientific modernity's unfortunate peak into the categorization of human beings, this provides an enlightened rebuttal.

Though, there are a few moments where Boas becomes a man of his age. It was first apparent to me when he declared eugenics a "beautiful ideal" (regardless if he
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Extremely interesting and not too dense overview of the basic premises that have established American Anthropology as what it is today. I cannot find anything wrong really with this book; personally, I adore it, as it presents to you many examples of social issues and how anthropology can be used to tackle them. Reading this book simply will start "making you a better person," as my Anthro 101 professor would like to always say. It allows you to begin looking at culture as process rather than pr ...more
Juliana Medaglia
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Boas prova que é possível pensar contra a corrente mesmo quando ela está em alta e promovendo valores horríveis contra o ser humano. Leitura incrível e necessária, e extremamente atual.
Dec 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Franz Boas, the daddy of American anthropology, gives his view on issues ranging from races and discrimination, nationalism, education, and... modern life. An influential book it sees, it argues many things that seem somewhat boring today because we take them for granted, especially in the first part of the book. But at the time the book was written, when racial discrimination was an important problem, who better to come and have his say on the issue than the student of man, the anthropologist? ...more
Michael Quinn
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the definitive books by the father of Anthropology.
Jun 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anthropologist fans
A classic book in the field of anthropology. Enlightening.
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing

As dated as it seems, Anthropology and Modern Life was certainly quite extraordinary for its time; when Broca, Goddard, Lombroso and the social darwinists were at the peak of scientific legitimacy.
Jack Connolly
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
The context is obviously dated, but his message still resonates. A solid Anthropology book with many intriguing theories/ideas for anyone who know nothing of Anthropology, or have been studying it for years.
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Boas at his best.
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really good!
rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2011
Luke Padgett
rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2011
Lewis Zimmerman
rated it it was amazing
Feb 24, 2017
rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2010
Paloma Berggren
rated it it was amazing
Oct 25, 2012
Jorge Rocha
rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2018
Ana Avramovic
rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2016
Saya Perempuan
rated it it was amazing
Oct 13, 2017
Ufuk Kaya
rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2020
Darren McManus
rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2017
rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2008
Billy Green
rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2014
rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2013
Kyle Kissick
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2011
Eugene Wamboga
rated it it was ok
Nov 25, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Patterns of Culture
  • Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilisation
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Native American History
  • The Idea of a Social Science: And Its Relation to Philosophy
  • Beyond Talent: Become Someone Who Gets Extraordinary Results
  • Lettera sulla felicità
  • The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
  • Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
  • A Piece of Cake
  • Home Body
  • The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies
  • Structural Anthropology
  • Solving Product Design Exercises: Questions & Answers
  • Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Los siete pasos hacia el amor
  • King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
31 likes · 6 comments