Behavior: Miss Markit Mit

In 1928 Margaret Mead's teacher and friend, Ruth Benedict, went to lunch with Margaret's father. Later Anthropologist Benedict wrote to her student: "My congratulations, Margaret. I don't see how you ever grew up."

Indeed, growing up was a painful experience for America's most distinguished anthropologist—much more so than for the adolescents she describes in her classic books on coming of age in Samoa and New Guinea. However, Mead seems to regard the hurts of her early years not as obstacles but as spurs; she underlines this view with the title of her newly published autobiography: Blackberry Winter (William Morrow; $8.95). To country...

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