Expanding American Anthropology, published by University of Alabama Press…Order Now!

About the Book

Published by University of Alabama Press.

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Expanding American Anthropology, 1945-1980: A Generation Reflects takes an inside look at American anthropology’s participation in the enormous expansion of the social sciences after World War II. During this time the discipline of anthropology itself came of age, expanding into diverse subfields, frequently on the initiative of individual practitioners. The Association of Senior Anthropologists of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) called upon a number of its leaders to give accounts of their particular innovations in the discipline. This volume is the result of the AAA venture-a set of primary documents on the history of American anthropology at a critical juncture.

In preparing the volume, the editors endeavored to maintain the feeling of “oral history” within the chapters and to preserve the individual voices of the contributors. There are many books on the history of anthropology, but few that include personal essays from such a broad swath of different perspectives. The passing of time will make this volume increasingly valuable in understanding the development of American anthropology from a small discipline to the profession of over ten thousand practitioners.


Alice Beck Kehoe is professor emeritus of anthropology at Marquette University, and author of a dozen books, including Controversies in Archaeology, The Ghost Dance: Ethnohistory and Revitalization, and North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account.

Paul L. Doughty is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of anthropology and Latin American studies at the University of Florida. He is coauthor of Peru: A Cultural History and Peasants, Power, and Applied Social Change: Vicos as a Model.


Expanding American Anthropology does a great job of conveying the spirit of anthropology in the decades following World War II (with a few essays that go back to the ’40s as well). Most have a way of making me recall that spirit that I did not think possible. Obviously, it’s the personal account that makes this possible. It reminds me that autobiography is the one of the best ways of getting into the spirit of the times. Such accounts convey the strengths and limitations of the individual and the field they’re working in. I think it is enormously important to let it be known to the current generation, and ones to come, what individual anthropologists saw as the challenges before them and how different their responses were.”–James Brown, author of The Spiro Ceremonial Center: The Archaeology of Arkansas Valley Caddoan Culture in Eastern Oklahoma

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