Franz Boas: The Early Years, 1858-1906
Franz Boas is one of the most influential anthropologists of the twentieth century. In "Franz Boas: The Early Years", 1858-1906, Douglas Cole provides a personal and intellectual biography of Boas from his childhood in Germany to his resignation from the American Museum of Natural History in 1906. This account of the development of Boas's thought is unprecedented in drawing extensively from the vast collection of Boas papers at Philadelphia's American Philosophical Society. The Boas family's lifelong habit of writing frequent, frank, and informative letters, and preserving them, allows a rich, intimate, and sharply focused look at Boas's childhood, family, schooling, and marriage as well as his early expeditions to study the Central Eskimo and Northwest Coast Indians, and his early struggles to establish a position for himself in American anthropology. This personal history serves as a concrete background to the evolution of the scientific methodology that Boas helped to make the foundation of American anthropology. While the biographical narrative is interesting in its own right, the focus is on Boas's ideas and their influence on his contemporaries. It gives us an appreciation both of the wide range of experience Boas brought to his first fieldwork on Baffin Island and of the intellectual passions that drove him through the maze of educational opportunities and career dead ends he encountered. Combining German and American intellectual history with Boas's first-person accounts of the course of his thinking, this important book places Boas in the context of his period, establishes his predispositions and influences, traces the course of his developing thought, and clarifies the issues that earned him his many allies and created his enemies. It is a long-awaited and major contribution to our understanding of the man who, today, is called the father of American anthropology. Douglas Cole (1938-1997) was professor of history at Simon Fraser University and a leading scholar on the history and culture of the Native peoples of the northwest Pacific coast.
Specifications of Franz Boas: The Early Years, 1858-1906
|Publisher||University of Washington Press|
|Number Of Pages||484|
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