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"Threatening Anthropology" book reading
Saturday, December 4, 2004 - 7:00pm to Saturday, December 4, 2004 - 9:30pm
David H. Price, author of Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI's Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists (Duke University Press, 2004), will give a free public reading of the book as part of the Branford Price Millar Library's Artists and Writers Series. The book offers a meticulously detailed account of how U.S. Cold War surveillance damaged the field of anthropology.

Price reveals how dozens of activist anthropologists were publicly and privately persecuted during the Red Scares of the 1940s and 1950s. He shows that it was not Communist Party membership or Marxist beliefs that attracted the most intense scrutiny from the FBI and Congressional committees but rather social activism, particularly for racial justice. Price argues that the impact of McCarthyism on anthropology extended far beyond the lives of those who lost their jobs. Its messages of fear and censorship had a pervasive chilling effect on anthropological investigation. Price draws on extensive archival research-including correspondence, oral histories, published sources, court hearings, and more than 30,000 pages of FBI and government memorandums.

PSU's Millar Library, 2nd floor (1875 S.W. Park Ave.)

Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Kimberly Willson-St. Clair at

David H. Price is an associate professor of Anthropology at Saint Martin's College, Olympia, Wash. His field research examines the ancient and modern irrigation systems of Egypt. He is also the author of The Atlas of World Cultures, and is currently researching Cold War connections between anthropologists and the CIA.