Early Civilization: An Introduction to Anthropology

By Alexander A. Goldenweiser | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THOSE whose common preoccupation is with ideas are wont to cherish the illusion of originality. But if the history of mental contents were disclosed we should find that most of what we know and think is derived from others.

My more clearly discernible obligations are due to many. It is hard to express the extent of my indebtedness to Professor Franz Boas, of Columbia, whose glowing enthusiasm and colossal knowledge have for many years served as guidance and inspiration. Of the many intellectual companions of my academic years I want to single out four whose ideas and criticisms have aided in the formation and shaping of my own thoughts: Professors Robert H. Lowie and A. L. Kroeber, of Berkeley, Doctor Edward Sapir, of the Victoria Museum, Ottawa, and Paul Radin, now of Oxford, England.

My gratitude is due to my friend and colleague, James Harvey Robinson and to Mrs. Etta Stuart Sohier, of Los Angeles, for reading and criticising the first version of this book. Their suggestions proved so valuable that the original plan of revising the first draft was abandoned and a new book written. I want to thank my old chum and companion, Samuel Joseph, for reading the page proof.

I also want to express my obligation to my classes in anthropology at Columbia and The New School for Social Research, for without the experience gained in the preparation and delivery of these lectures, the book could not have been written. My final obligation is due to my secretary, Miss Anne V. Cooper, who has fulfilled the enormous task of typing and retyping the manuscript, has read the proofs and made innumerable suggestions as to the form and content of the pages that follow.

ALEXANDER A. GOLDENWEISER New York, December 16, 1921.

-vii-

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