The Reinvention of Humanity
*THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE BRITISH ACADEMY NAYEF AL-RODHAN PRIZE 2020*
The riveting story of the pioneers who redefined conceptions of ‘normality’ in the early twentieth century.
Under the guiding eye of cultural anthropologist Franz Boas, these scientist-explorers – most of them women – made intrepid journeys into far-flung communities all over the world, where they documented radically different social approaches that overturned Western assumptions about human diversity and
challenged the era’s scientific consensus.
Here, the boundary-breaking lives and achievements of Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, Ella Deloria and Zora Neale Hurston are brought fully into light for the first time, showing how their trailblazing discoveries helped shape the moral universe we inhabit today.
*WINNER OF THE FRANCIS PARKMAN PRIZE 2020*
*FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 2019*
Magnificent ... In this brilliantly written and deftly organised book, Charles King tells the story of how the study of humankind [was revolutionised] in the first half of the 20th century -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian * Hugely informative and adhesively readable -- John Carey * Sunday Times * Stunning ... every syllable seems perfectly positioned for pitch, stress, euphony and evocative power; the brilliant vignettes of the anthropologists' leisure moments ... the vividness with which their private lives, sexual intrigues and secret thoughts are captured ... elegant and entertaining * Literary Review * An intellectual adventure story of the best sort - elegantly written, thought-provoking and full of biographical riches -- SARAH BAKEWELL, author of At the Existentialist Cafe Charles King, author of this illuminating biographical history [has] a great gift for nicely balanced epigrammatic prose ... as King writes with a typically fine flourish, Boas can be seen to have been "on the front line of the greatest moral battle of our time" and he, along with the talented women who learnt from him, won out in the end -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett * New Statesman *
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