Ashley Montagu papers, 1927-1999 1927-1999

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Ashley Montagu papers, 1927-1999, 1927-1999

Ashley Montagu papers, 1927-1999 1927-1999

Ashley Montagu (1905-1999), physical anthropologist, was a prominent figure in American intellectual life. British by birth, educated at University College London and the London School of Economics, then Columbia University in New York City, Montagu was a persistent advocate for gender and racial equality. He was a tireless activist for human understanding and child welfare in particular. Departing from academe in 1955, a victim of McCarthyite hysteria, he was a remarkably prolific writer and speaker, eventually publishing more than 50 books, over 40 of them after he left the academy. Montagu continued to lobby passionately against the primacy of race in discussions of intellect and skill, and undertook works in a wide variety of fields, from evolution to parenting. Some of his most significant works include Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race (1942), the UNESCO Statement on Race (1951), Man and Aggression (1968) and his novel The Elephant Man (1971), which became the basis for an award winning play and movie. Ashley Montagu’s contributions to the spread of scientific knowledge and human understanding make him one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century.

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