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Coming of Age in Samoa Paperback – January 1, 1971

3.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Illuminating and interesting . . . Corroborates, through practical demonstration, the psychosexual theories promulgated by Freud and his pupils." -- -- Dr. A. A. Brill

About the Author

Margaret Mead (1901-1978) began her remarkable career when she visited Samoa at the age of twenty-three, which led to her first book, Coming of Age in Samoa. She went on to become one of the most influential women of our time, publishing some forty works and serving as Curator of Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History as well as president of major scientific associations. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom following her death in 1978.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Special Members Edition edition (January 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688309747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688309749
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A few reviewers have referenced the Mead / Freeman controversy. I'd like to explain this controversy and provide some historical context for readers unfamiliar with the book.

Coming of Age in Samoa is Margaret Mead's first publication. It launched a career that made Mead one of the most famous anthropologists in American history. I find this book interesting in two ways: historically and stylistically.

Coming of Age in Samoa is historically interesting in that it represents one culmination of the conflict between cultural and biological anthropology. Mead was a student of anthropologist Franz Boas, a famous advocate of "nurture" over "nature." Mead borrowed and expanded Boas' ideas, and many cultural anthropologists still cite her work as evidence that a person's cultural upbringing--not his genetic makeup--accounts for most of his personal development.

Anthropologists that valued "nature" over "nurture" did not dig. Mead's claims were big, bold, and well-received.

But Boas' opponents (or his opponents' students and their students' students) were able to breath easy once Derek Freeman, an Australian anthropologist, published a book refuting Mead's findings. Freeman accused Mead of conducting sloppy fieldwork, approaching her subject with predetermined conclusions, and refusing to correct her work after its publication. In response, Mead supporters accused Freeman of attacking Mead personally rather than professionally. While they disagreed about the quality of Freeman's own fieldwork, these critics all thought that he could have written his critique with more tact and civility.

Coming of Age in Samoa is stylistically interesting in that it targets a general audience. Some sections seem to come from a travelogue, others from a novella.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is unfortunate that this classic doesn't have a quality kindle edition. It looks like it was converted automatically from an old text and no editing was done. The book is, therefore, mostly unreadable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really can't say this book is terrible, but the transfer to digital is appalling. You can read along and then the print is jumbled, impossible to follow the story so had to quit reading.
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By Dana Ali on September 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Text was indecipherable. Dont buy the kindle edition. Such a shame. There was no point in making it available as an ebook.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Apparently original book was scanned with ocr and
there were lots of errors and misprints on the pages
Would not recommend downloading
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband started this because we were both looking forward to it. My aunt is Samoan and I thought that would be very informative. My husband couldn't finish it and I didn't start it. It was disappointing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Classic treatment of the subject. Very well worth reading.interesting for the student of 'life.'
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