Book ID: CBB504459071

Truth's Fool: Derek Freeman and the War over Cultural Anthropology (2017)


Hempenstall, Peter (Author)

University of Wisconsin Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: 336
Language: English

New Zealand anthropologist Derek Freeman ignited a ferocious controversy in 1983 when he denounced the research of Margaret Mead, a world-famous public intellectual who had died five years earlier. Freeman's claims caught the attention of popular media, converging with other vigorous cultural debates of the era. Many anthropologists, however, saw Freeman's strident refutation of Mead's best-selling Coming of Age in Samoa as the culmination of a forty-year vendetta. Others defended Freeman's critique, if not always his tone.Truth's Fool documents an intellectual journey that was much larger and more encompassing than Freeman's criticism of Mead's work. It peels back the prickly layers to reveal the man in all his complexity. Framing this story within anthropology's development in Britain and America, Peter Hempenstall recounts Freeman's mission to turn the discipline from its cultural-determinist leanings toward a view of human culture underpinned by biological and behavioral drivers. Truth's Fool engages the intellectual questions at the center of the Mead–Freeman debate and illuminates the dark spaces of personal, professional, and even national rivalries.

Reviewed By

Review Gerald Sullivan (2019) Review of "Truth's Fool: Derek Freeman and the War over Cultural Anthropology". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences (pp. 173-175). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Stefan Bargheer; (2017)
Anthropology at War: Robert H. Lowie and the Transformation of the Culture Concept, 1904 to 1954 (/isis/citation/CBB276863173/) unapi

Article Shankman, Paul; (2006)
Virginity and Veracity: Rereading Historical Sources in the Mead-Freeman Controversy (/isis/citation/CBB000660233/) unapi

Article Nierenberg, Nicolas; Tschinkel, Walter R.; Tschinkel, Victoria J.; (2010)
Early Climate Change Consensus at the National Academy: The Origins and Making of Changing Climate (/isis/citation/CBB001022609/) unapi

Thesis Miller, Ethan Zane; (2010)
The Cultural Logics of the Liberal Self in Early 20th Century U.S. Anthropology (/isis/citation/CBB001567200/) unapi

Book Bowman-Kruhm, Mary; (2003)
Margaret Mead: A Biography (/isis/citation/CBB001251425/) unapi

Book Munns, David P. D.; (2013)
A Single Sky: How an International Community Forged the Science of Radio Astronomy (/isis/citation/CBB001320933/) unapi

Book Banchoff, Thomas F.; (2011)
Embryo Politics: Ethics and Policy in Atlantic Democracies (/isis/citation/CBB001212716/) unapi

Book DeJong-Lambert, William; (2012)
The Cold War Politics of Genetic Research: An Introduction to the Lysenko Affair (/isis/citation/CBB001213212/) unapi

Article Rudiak-Gould, Peter; (2014)
Progress, Decline, and the Public Uptake of Climate Science (/isis/citation/CBB001420054/) unapi

Book Edwards, David; (2008)
Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation (/isis/citation/CBB001020029/) unapi

Article Ranalli, Brent Tibor; (2011)
A Prehistory of Peer Review: Religious Blueprints from the Hartlib Circle (/isis/citation/CBB001220692/) unapi

Book Worsley, Peter; (2008)
An Academic Skating on Thin Ice (/isis/citation/CBB000951792/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Kroll, Gary
Shankman, Paul
Burman, Erica
Worsley, Peter
Edwards, David
Nierenberg, Nicolas
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy
Ethnohistory: Journal of the American Society for Ethnohistory
History of Psychology
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
British Journal for the History of Science
Spontaneous Generations
Berghahn Books
Harvard University Press
Cornell University Press
Greenwood Press
MIT Press
Controversies and disputes
Cultural anthropology
Scientific communities; interprofessional relations
Societies; institutions; academies
Science and politics
Public understanding of science
Mead, Margaret
Lowie, Robert H.
Benedict, Ruth Fulton
Boas, Franz
Freeman, John Derek
Worsley, Peter
United States
Great Britain
Islands of the Pacific
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
17th century
19th century
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
McGill University (Canada)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment