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.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Priestdaddy
    Priestdaddy
    by Patricia Lockwood
    Patricia Lockwood is a poet and the daughter of Greg Lockwood, a Catholic priest. While Catholic ...
  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Gypsy Moth Summer
    by Julia Fierro

    One of the most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.