Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century
  • The pioneers of cultural anthropology taught not just how to study other cultures, but how to criticize their own.

    Now often called the father of American anthropology, Boas—Prussian-born, Jewish, and male—in fact exerted tremendous influence far beyond the academic discipline he helped to establish, presiding over a revolution in the social sciences and becoming one of the best-known public intellectuals of the first half of the twentieth century. While his work ranged widely, from linguistics to mythology and physical anthropology, he is now mostly remembered for the methodological rigor he brought to the field, the many students he mentored, and his career-long opposition to scientific racism.