Histories of American Physical Anthropology in the Twentieth Century

Kenneth a. R. Kennedy (Editor) Michael a. Little (Editor)
& 6 more


Histories of American Physical Anthropology in the Twentieth Century chronicles the history of physical anthropology_or, as it is now known, biological anthropology_from its professional origins in the late 1800 up to its modern transformation in the late 1900s. In this edited volume, 13 contributors trace the development of people, ideas, traditions, and organizations that contributed to the advancement of this branch of anthropology that focuses today on human variation and human evolution. Designed for upper level undergraduate students, graduate students, and professional biological anthropologists, this book provides a brief and accessible history of the biobehavioral side of anthropology in America.

Product Details

Lexington Books
Publish Date
October 11, 2010
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.01 pounds
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About the Author

Michael A. Little is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Kenneth A. R. Kennedy is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University.


This volume is the first comprehensive treatment of physical anthropology's history to appear since Frank Spencer's in 1982, to whom it is appropriately dedicated. The contributors are all established and eminent scholars who have experienced our history and consequently understand it and appreciate it. It will serve as a text in university courses, and as a general reference for professionals.--Richard Jantz, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
From a one-dimensional, typological focus to a dynamic, problem-oriented one; from being racist to the main opponent of racism, physical anthropology has had a mixed history. Little and Kennedy have assembled an excellent set of papers that describe, analyze, and synthesize this fascinating story. This is a book that should be read by students and professionals alike.--Robert W. Sussman, Washington University in St. Louis
This a fine and much-needed book with sound and sometimes witty coverage of the development of physical anthropology in America. No student of the field should fail to read it!--Pat Shipman, Pennsylvania State University
An important addition to the library of anyone interested in tracing the development of physical anthropology.--The Quarterly Review Of Biology
In sum, I think that the fossil and archeological records fail to support the aquatic hypothesis for human brain evolution. This does not mean that the hypothesis can be ignored, and I especially recommend the present volume to readers like myself who need to become acquainted with the nutritional and neurochemical arguments in its favor.--American Journal of Human Biology
Little's insightful treatment of Boas's multifaceted relationship to anthropology is representative of the success of the book as a whole, which demonstrates the inter-related trajectories of both scientific and social/political history.--American Journal of Human Biology