Who said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world..."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.

Margaret Mead The cultural anthropologist and writer Margaret Mead (1901–78) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA and raised near Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Her father was an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, her mother a feminist political activist. She studied at DePauw University, graduated from Barnard College in 1923; and from Columbia University, with a PhD in 1929. In 1925 she carried out undergraduate fieldwork in Polynesia. She later published the findings from her expeditions to Samoa and New Guinea in Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) and Growing Up in New Guinea (1930). In 1926 she joined the American Museum of Natural History in New York as an assistant curator; she was quickly promoted to curator, a position she held until 1969, and she maintained a connection with the museum up until her death.

During World War II she served as executive secretary of the National Research Council's Committee on Food Habits. From 1954 she taught at Columbia University as an adjunct professor, and held various positions in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, including those of president and chair of the executive committee of the board of directors.

She was married and divorced three times; first to Luther Cressman (a theological student, who became an anthropologist after they separated), then to two anthropologists - first Reo Fortune, and then to Gregory Bateson (1936–50) with whom she had a daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson, who is also an anthropologist.

Mead also had a close relationship with anthropologist Ruth Benedict (1887 - 1948). In her memoir, With a Daughter's Eye, Mary Catherine implies that this relationship was sexual. Mead never identified herself as a lesbian but in her writings she did propose that it was to be expected that an individual's sexual orientation could change during their lives.

Her later works included Male and Female (1949) and Growth and Culture (1951), in which she argued that personality characteristics, especially as they differ between men and women, were shaped by cultural conditioning rather than heredity.

Although she is considered a pioneering anthropologist by some, other academics have disagreed with some of her findings. However, there is no doubt that she made anthropology accessible to a wider audience and, in her later years, her presence and opinions were widely sought.

"I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings." - Margaret Mead.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.