#Anthropology roundup: “The Life and Meaning of Margaret Mead

Anthropologist Margaret Mead immerses herself in the community on a field trip to Bali, Indonesia, in 1957. AP Photo

This article was originally published at Aeon.

In 1978, after 50 years at the pinnacle of American opinion, the anthropologist Margaret Mead died with a secure reputation and a lustrous legacy. Her ascent seemed to mirror the societal ascent of American women. In some two dozen books and countless articles, she gave a forceful voice to a sturdy if cautious liberalism: resolutely antiracist, pro-choice; open to “new ways of thinking” yet wary of premarital sex and hesitant about the pill. The tensions in public opinion were hers too. In her obituary, The New York Times called her “a national oracle.”


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The Bitter Side of Cocoa Production

Chocolate comes from processing the seeds found in the fruit, or “pods” (shown here), of the cacao tree.USAID/Flickr

A fine piece of chocolate tickles your tongue with a complex mélange of flavors. The genetics of the cocoa beans, the plants’ terroir—that unique soil, climate, and terrain where the cocoa trees grow—and a myriad of variables involved in harvest and processing all leave a trace.

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