When, in 1940 Franz Boas published a volume of his collected scientific papers, he chose such of his writings as would illustrate and prove the validity of his point of view in anthropology, in particular that an understanding of the culture and behavior of man under conditions fundamentally different from our own, can help us to a more objective and unprejudiced view of our own lives and our own society. Subsequently some of us urged him to prepare a parallel volume containing some of the papers and addresses that he had directed at lay audiences. At first he evinced no great enthusiasm for this project, and when, early in 1942, I began a selection and collation of his publications for this purpose, and discussed the work with him, he said on a number of occasions, "I really think you are wasting your time. I do not believe that publication of these papers is of sufficient importance." But he finally agreed to the project because he became ever more convinced of the urgent need for the dissemination of ideas based on scientific facts. As he himself said in an address in 1941: "No longer can we keep the search for truth a privilege of the scientist. We must see to it that the hard task of subordinating the love of traditional lore to clear thinking be shared with us by larger and larger masses of the people."
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Publication information: Book title: Race and Democratic Society. Contributors: Franz Boas - Author. Publisher: J.J. Augustin. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1945. Page number: Not available.
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