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His oeuvre in his specialization — the Kwakiutl and other tribes of the Pacific Northwest — totaled more than 10,000 printed pages. Boas’s best-known work is nevertheless (1911), which the radical critic Randolph Bourne hailed for having brought closer the realization of “the Brotherhood of man.” Social science might therefore accomplish what “religion has failed to achieve,” the reviewer added.
In the magazine Boas’s student Paul Radin explained why made the cut.xxx Born in 1858, Boas had the luck not to die young, or even in middle age — but instead to go the distance. Longevity and undiminished intellectual force allowed for prodigious output in writing for the scholarly community as well as for a general audience. ” Boas’s answer to that question marked him as no slouch.His bibliography lists 625 titles, and runs forty pages.“It is very easy to be one of the first among anthropologists over here,” Boas assured his mother in 1907. By 1896 he was already a lecturer in physical anthropology at Columbia. that any American university awarded in anthropology, in 1892 (his last year of teaching there); and when he switched to Columbia, its Department of Anthropology achieved independence when Boas became a full professor in 1899, when he was forty-one. The first of his graduate students to earn a doctorate was Kroeber (1876-1960).
Three years later Boas joined its faculty full-time as a professor of anthropology, and by 1901 he had become a curator at the American Museum of Natural History as well. He started in physics, with a doctorate from the University of Kiel, and then switched to geography. and delivered the keynote address on “Psychological Problems in Anthropology.” The photo marking the occasion shows Boas in the front row at the far left. Standing tall in the middle was one of James’s former students, the president of Clark, psychologist G. Immediately to Hall’s left was Sigmund Freud, and immediately to his left was Carl Gustav Jung. Another mark of an exemplary public intellectual may be self-assurance in facing so intimidating an audience. Soon thereafter Boas was even exerting influence in aesthetics, helping museums to redefine the deathless problem of what constitutes art.
Rejecting the racialism that dominated late-nineteenth-century thought, he advanced an alternative social science uncontaminated by condescension towards lesser breeds.