Ruth Benedict

(1887_1948 / New York City, New York)

Ruth Benedict Quotes

  • ''In a world that holds books and babies and canyon trails, why should one condemn oneself to live day-in, day-out with people one does not like, and sell oneself to chaperone and correct them?''
    Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), U.S. anthropologist. An Anthropologist at Work, part 2 (1959). Written in her journal on May 20, 1913, during her brief career as a boarding-school teacher.
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  • ''... liberty is the one thing no man can have unless he grants it to others.''
    Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), U.S. anthropologist. An Anthropologist at Work, part 4 (1959). From "Primitive Freedom," a paper written in 1942.
  • ''I haven't strength of mind not to need a career.''
    Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), U.S. anthropologist. As quoted in An Anthropologist at Work, part 1, by Margaret Mead (1959). From a prefatory essay to this collection of Benedict's writings: "Search: 1920-1930." According to Mead, Benedict used to say this, "with a rueful smile," during her early years of studying and practicing anthropology—i.e., c. in her early thirties.
  • ''I gambled on having the strength to live two lives, one for myself and one for the world.''
    Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), U.S. anthropologist. As quoted in An Anthropologist at Work, part 1, by Margaret Mead (1959). From a prefatory essay to this collection of Benedict's writings: "Search: 1920-1930." Benedict was in her late thirties when she said this. She was both a noted anthropologist and a wife; she did not, however, have children.

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