New Lives for Old
Cultural Transformation--Manus, 1928-1953
This edition of New Lives for Old, prepared for the centennial of Mead's birth, features introductions by Stewart Brand and Mead's daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson.
When Margaret Mead first studied the Manus Islanders of New Guinea in 1928, they were living with a Stone Age technology and economically vulnerable; they seemed ill-equipped to handle the massive impact that World War II had on their secluded world. But a unique set of circumstances allowed the Manus to adapt swiftly to the twentieth century, and their experience led Mead to develop a revolutionary theory of cultural transformation, one that favors rapid, over piecemeal, change. As relevant today as it was a half-century ago, New Lives for Old is an optimistic examination of a society that chose to change.