Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Series Editors’ Introduction

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pp. xi-xii

Cora Du Bois’s life trajectory was cursed with all-too-interesting times, from the Boer War (in which her father lost everything) through the Vietnam War (which she warned U.S. officials against entering). Within American anthropology, Du Bois came close to being like Saint Bonaventure’s...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

Cora Du Bois began life in 1903 as a lonely and awkward girl who liked being a distant observer of humankind. She matured into a formidable woman whose intellect, curiosity, and presence helped take her on a remarkable journey — a journey that culminated with an appointment at...

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Resources and Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xx

Research for this biography dates back to the summer of 1984, when I interviewed Cora Du Bois at her home in Cambridge for a short biographical chapter that appeared in Women Anthropologists: A Biographical Dictionary. She made available to me a copy of her vita, along with other...

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Prologue: Cora and Me

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pp. xxi-xxviii

With head erect and shoulders back, Cora Du Bois strode into the Peabody Museum classroom at Harvard. As she gazed at us with vivid blue eyes, everyone’s attention was riveted on her. “Formidable” — with the French pronunciation — was how Harvard students described her, and formidable...

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1. Tomgirl

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pp. 1-41

Cora Du Bois — the woman who was to become the Zemurray Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University, renowned for her eloquent English prose — began her writing career in English with a simple, charming, but also revealing diary that she began keeping in 1913, when she was nine...

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2. Escape and Resolve

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pp. 42-69

Cora Du Bois’s return trip to Europe, which followed her high school graduation and ended with the death of her father, effectively marked the conclusion of her childhood. She returned home to the United States twenty pounds lighter and grieving for her father but, at the same time...

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3. Becoming an Anthropologist

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pp. 70-101

“Open vistas” would be a suitable metaphor for the next stage of Cora Du Bois’s life. Moving to the West Coast in 1929, she not only faced out across the Pacific but, as she later reported, she also learned to look outward. Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area were filled with hills and...

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4. Culture and Personality

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pp. 102-130

Once again, in the fall of 1935, Cora Du Bois crossed the continent on a quest — this time to acquire tools that might help her better understand the relationship of the individual to culture. She knew there was more momentum on the East Coast than in the West with respect to exploring...

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5. A Pioneer in Culture and Personality Research

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pp. 131-167

Each stage of Cora Du Bois’s life was marked by a significant voyage — by sea or by train. This time was no exception. For her pioneering fieldwork in culture and personality, she would spend several months on ships, working her way eastward to the island of Alor, which then lay in the Netherlands...

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6. World War II and the OSS

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pp. 168-204

The new stage of life that Cora Du Bois anticipated in her poem “Something Is Coming to an End, and Nothing Else Has Started” arrived abruptly with the December 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. This event triggered both the entrance of the United States into World...

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7. Disillusionment in the Cold War Era

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pp. 205-248

The Second World War was followed almost immediately by the Cold War — the term that has come to characterize the geopolitical tensions that quickly emerged between the Soviet Union and the United States and other Western powers. Although the USSR had been an ally in the...

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8. Harvard, Crown of Roses or Thorns?

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pp. 249-283

In early December 1953, Cora Du Bois received an extraordinary telephone call from Clyde Kluckhohn, a Harvard anthropology professor and one of the founders of the Department of Social Relations. He had heard through the grapevine that she was about to accept a position at Columbia, and he...

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9. Sociocultural Change in India

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pp. 284-316

Cora Du Bois’s major research project while at Harvard was to investigate post–World War II sociocultural change in India following independence from Great Britain in 1947. The study of contemporary change in such a large, complex society, with its long heritage of literacy, was an extreme...

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10. Looking Inward

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pp. 317-350

Cora Du Bois’s journey into a more self-reflective stage of life did not begin immediately upon her retirement from Harvard, in 1969, at the age of sixty-five. There were still several years of research in India to complete, PhD theses to direct, and professional writing projects to pursue...

Notes

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pp. 351-382

Bibliography

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pp. 383-392

Index

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pp. 393-425