BooksAnthropology

Mead Misrepresented

Science  12 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5408, pp. 1649
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5408.1649b

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The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead A Historical Analysis of Her Samoan Research. Derek Freeman. Westview (Perseus), Boulder, CO, 1998. 291 pp. $24, C$34. ISBN 0-8133-3560-4.

Freeman argues that Margaret Mead's classic account of sexuality among young Samoan women resulted from her having been hoaxed by native informants and from the beliefs on behavior and biology that she shared with her mentor Franz Boas. Our reviewer finds Freeman's interpretations biased and unconvincing.