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With a Daughter's Eye: Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, A Paperback – January 26, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A]n utter absorbing account of Mead and Bateson's relationship...[This] book is clearly a classic." -- -- Natural History magazine

About the Author

Mary Catherine Bateson is Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University. She received an undergraduate degree from Radcliffe and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She has written and coauthored numerous books on life history, lectures internationally, and is president of the Institute for Intercultural Studies in New York City. She divides her time between New Hampshire and Virginia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reissue edition (January 26, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060975733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060975739
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Catherine Bateson is a writer and cultural anthropologist. She has retired from teaching but continues as a visiting scholar at Boston College's Center on Aging and Work. She was educated at Radcliffe (BA 1960) and Harvard (PhD 1963). She was Dean of the Faculty at Amherst College 1980-83. From 1987 to 2002, Bateson was Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University, becoming Professor Emerita in 2002. She has also taught at Harvard, Northeastern, Amherst, and Spelman College, as well as overseas in the Philippines and Iran.

Bateson's original research interest was in the Middle East. More recently she has been interested in how women and men work out distinctive adaptations to culture change, learning from those around them and improvising new ways of being. She is currently exploring how extended longevity and lifelong learning modify the rhythms of the life cycle and the interaction between generations.

Her books include:, With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson; Composing a Life; Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the Way; Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition; and Willing to Learn: Passages of Personal Discovery; and Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom, September 2010.

Bateson is married and has a married daughter and two grandsons. She lives in Southern New Hampshire.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Margaret Mead was one of my heroines when I was growing up. How fascinating to read this biography which is a blend of intellectual and up close and personal history of her. To have her husband, Gregory Bateson included is icing on the cake. Mary Catherine has done an extremely creditble job. For example, she writes, "Margaret always emphasized the importance of recording first impressions . . . for . . . the informed eye has its own blindness as it begins to take for granted things that were initially bizarre." As I read of Margaret's reaction to Mary Catherine's wedding -- that it must be a format that reflected Margaret and Gregory's place in the world, rather than just the personal joy and celebration of a daughter, I had to wonder if Mary Catherine ever connected the above passage to her own children. This daughter writes with a fairly clear eye about her parents. They are neither great untouchable icons, nor are they flawed little humans. I suspect she did a great deal of balancing in her own emotions to come up with the portraits she painted because, in truth, we have three portraits here, all interconnected and somehow, ongoing. Not a superficial book.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the careful description of two legendary lives observed by the author as a daughter and an anthropologist. As a piece of anthropological writing, a certain distance is maintained when the author tells of her memories of growing up with her parents and the relationship between them. Yet, I can still detect her sadness and love in the seemingly unemotional and impersonal writing style. Often, significant feelings are embedded in the scientific explaination of her parents' theories and ideas. I not only gained a better understanding of the field of anthropology, but also find the "differences" (such as different kinds of families, marriages, choices, ideas, personalities) that we encounter in life as descriped by the author enriching.
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Format: Paperback
This memoir provided me a wonderful opportunity to learn about anthropologist Margaret Mead through her fair-minded daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson, an anthropolgist herself.

I learned about the places of convergence and difference between mother and daughter, but mostly of the solidarity and pride about the rich body of information, theoretical and methodological contributions, made by both of her parents. The memoir, which includes Bateson's father, Gregory Bateson, is studded with thoughtful opinion - nuggets I hope for in a reflective piece.

I learned that Mead valued conflict as the birthplace of creativity, that she deeply honored individuality and that for her, variation and difference presented opportunities for something new to emerge.

Bateson expresses it well: " Margaret felt, I believe, that by supplying new metaphors and additional layers of insight, errors would be balanced."

Bateson contends that for decades to come, the sayings of her mother will be cherished, comments such as " Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. For indeed, that's all who ever have."

The lenses through which Bateson views her imperfect parents are fog-free. Her comments are from the heart.

Eleanor Cowan author of: A History of a Pedophile's Wife: Memoir of a Canadian Teacher and Writer
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By ROBERT S. on November 16, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
haven't read it yet but good price
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