In Search of Us

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In the late 19th century when non-European societies were seen merely as 'living fossils' offering an insight into how civilisation had evolved, anthropology was a thriving area of study. But, by the middle of the 20th century, it was difficult to think about ideas of 'savages' and otherness when 'civilised' man had wreaked such devastation across two world wars, and field work was to be displaced by sociology and the study of all human society. By focusing on thirteen key European and American figures in this field, Lucy Moore tells the story of the brief flowering of anthropology as a quasi-scientific area of study, and about the men and women whose observations of the 'other' were unwittingly to come to bear on attitudes about race, gender equality, sexual liberation, parenting and tolerance in ways they had never anticipated.