Elsie Clews Parsons (1874-1941) was a pioneering anthropologist whose writings on the Pueblo Indians challenged American notions about racial and cultural purity. She was also a committed feminist whose unconventional marriage survived many infidelities and included an agreement to share childcare. In short, she was one of those remarkable individuals who live entirely by their own code and publicly urge society to grant everyone the same freedom they have seized for themselves. Vigorous prose and impeccable research distinguish this enthralling narrative of a thoroughly modern woman whose fierce independence seems only to have augmented her enormous charm.
From Library Journal
Deacon (American studies, Univ. of Texas) here chronicles the attempts of sociologist and anthropologist Parsons to change 19th-century American values. Parsons (1874-1941) attended graduate school before marrying and raised her children while working as a writer and field anthropologist. She developed new ideas about marriage, the family, and sexual identity that were popularized in her writing. Deacon reveals how Parsons combined her personal and professional lives to create a modernist woman's lifestyle. Relying on in-depth research, she quotes from many letters and other sources. This engaging study of an unusual woman is recommended for academic libraries.?Gwen Gregory, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces
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