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A dazzling group portrait of Franz Boas, the founder of cultural anthropology, and his circle of women scientists, who upended American notions of race, gender, and sexuality in the 1920s and 1930s--a sweeping chronicle of how our society began to question the basic ways we understand other cultures and ourselves.At the end of the 19th century, everyone knew that people were defined by their race and sex and were fated by birth and biology to be more or less intelligent, able, nurturing, or warlike. But one rogue researcher looked at the data and decided everyone was wrong. Franz Boas was the very image of a mad scientist: a wild-haired immigrant with a thick German accent. By the 1920s he was also the foundational thinker and public face of a new school of thought at Columbia University called cultural anthropology.

About the Author

Charles King

Charles King is Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University, chair of the Department of Government, and former faculty chair of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He is the author of six books, including MIDNIGHT AT THE PERA PALACE: THE BIRTH OF MODERN ISTANBUL (2014) , which received the French Prix de Voyage Urbain "Le Figaro-Peninsula Paris"; ODESSA: GENIUS AND DEATH IN A CITY OF DREAMS (2011) , winner of the National Jewish Book Award; THE GHOST OF FREEDOM: A HISTORY OF THE CAUCASUS (2008) ; and THE BLACK SEA: A HISTORY (2004) . He lectures widely on global affairs and has worked with broadcast media including CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC, the History Channel, and MTV. A native of the Ozark hill country, King studied history and politics at the University of Arkansas and Oxford University, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. @charleskingdc, www.charles-king.net

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