"Banner has intertwined not only the lives of Mead and Benedict, but all the assumptions about women and sex in the first half of the twentieth century. The history of anthropology has never been so plainly set forth. An amazing, invaluable, unprecedented book–a delight to read."
–Carolyn Heilbrun, author of Writing A Woman’s Life
"A most amazing, magnificent, and very moving chronicle of Lesbian brilliance. Lois Banner continues to break down bigoted barriers and write real history."
–Larry Kramer, author of The Normal Heart
"Intertwined Lives is a luscious detective story in which Banner ingenuously finds the clues and breaks the codes critical to understanding these two giants of American intellectual life and the bond between them. Banner has written a rich and incisive biography of their relationship, but she has also written a book that helps us make sense of that pivotal cultural shift as the Victorian sexual system gives way to the modern. How did people born into the Victorian world, but coming of age in the modern, negotiate this transition? Here, Banner allows us to see Mead and Benedict up close as they grapple with, even as they help shape, a new order that holds both pleasures and terrors for hem. A canny book and a must-read for anyone interested in the history of sexuality and gender."
–Alice Echols, author of Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin
"Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict loved anthropology, and they loved each other. They concealed that second love during their lifetimes, but left ample clues for a bold and sensitive biographer to recreate the richness of their shared personal and professional lives. Lois Banner is that biographer."
— Susan Ware, editor of Notable American Women
"Intertwined Lives is an enticing and gorgeous adventure story about two brilliant divas, whose intellectual travels also involved extraordinary experiments in friendship and sexual love. Banner’s approach to these amazing women is both erudite and wonderfully imaginative."
–Christine Stansell, author of American Moderns
"An engrossing narrative….bringing Mead and Benedict to life and placing
then with their circle of friends in a lovely mosaic."
— Christopher Carbone, Washington Post Book World
"A brilliant introduction to two women who stood in the vanguard of a new America."
–Jamie Spencer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A major work, impressive in its depth and breadth."
— Joan Gartland, Library Journal
From the Hardcover edition.
Prologue: The Sybils
Prologue: Rome, 1926
Part I: Ancestry
1 Pioneering Women and Men
Part II: Backgrounds
2 Apollo and Dionysus: Ruth Benedict’s Childhood
3 “The Young-Eyed Cherubim”: Margaret Mead’s Childhood
Part III: Searching for Self
4 “Smashing”: Female Romantic Friendships
5 “Mary Wollstonecraft”: Ruth Benedict and Early Twentieth-Century Feminism
Part IV: From New York City to New Guinea
6 DePauw University, Barnard College, and the Making of Margaret Mead
7 “Unicorns at Sunrise”: Anthropology, Poetry, Gender, and Ruth Benedict
8 Free Love and Samoa
9 Bread and Wine: Creating a Friendship, 1926–1931
Part V: Intellect and Emotions
10 “Two Strings to His Bow”: Ruth Benedict and Patterns of Culture
11 The “Squares” on the Sepik: Sex and Temperament, Part 1
12 From the Hanover Conference to the Witches of Bali: Sex and Temperament, Part 2
13 Race, Gender, and Sexuality
Part VI: World War II and Beyond
14 Ripeness Is All