*** Gods of the Upper Aid by Charles King

Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century describes how Franz Boas and his students, among them Margaret Mead and Zora Neale Hurston, created the new field of anthropology and, in so doing, contributed to changing popular ideas of racist superiority to a more diverse and accepting attitude. Along the way, we get ample servings of the various characters’ complicated personal lives, starting with Margaret Mead and her collection of husbands and lovers, and also a taste of the appalling way female professors were treated and paid (I guess other cultures should be respected, but wome, not so much!) Never a dull moment.

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