Margaret Mead and the Heretic: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth

Derek Freeman

Penguin Books, 1997


In 1928 Margaret Mead announced her discovery of a culture where free love flourished, and jealousy and adolescent turmoil were unknown. In this work Derek Freeman provides evidence that Mead made a series of errors in her analysis of the Samoan people. Over years of research, Freeman found the Samoan people — far from inhabiting an island paradise — were intensely competitive, with high rates of rape and murder, prizing virginity and were deeply intolerant of pre-marital sex.

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