Cover image for Uncommon lives : my lifelong friendship with Margaret Mead
Uncommon lives : my lifelong friendship with Margaret Mead
Grinager, Patricia, 1918-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield , [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 273 pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GN21.M36 G75 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In this vivid and deeply personal portrait of Mead's brilliance, foibles, humor and her private reactions to friends and enemies, Uncommon Lives traces the intertwined lives of two remarkable women.

Author Notes

Patricia Grinager has held positions as associate professor at the University of Delaware and the University of Wisconsin, and at Columbia University as the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid and Dean of Students for the School of General Studies. She currently resides in Palo Alto, California.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Grinager met Margaret Mead in 1953, when Grinager was an adult student returning to school to complete a degree interrupted by marriage and children. She was drawn to a course taught by Mead despite the logistical difficulties of babysitting and commuting. The two women became friends when Grinager offered to work for Mead as a volunteer. Mead took her on, attracted to her student's energy, enterprise, dedication, and abilities. Mead knew that Grinager intended to write a book about the two of them. She urged Grinager to keep a daily log, which became the raw material for this memoir. Grinager weaves the story of her own life into her memoir of Mead. Her re-creation of Mead does not spare Mead's flaws, but it is full of genuine affection and admiration. This reviewer found many of the details of travel, conversational, and menu trivia tedious; not everything illuminates either subject. Despite some lapses into sentimentality, two unusual personalities come through. For general and anthropology collections. All levels. R. Berleant-Schiller; University of Connecticut

Table of Contents

Dana Raphael
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1. Two Women Meetp. 1
2. Working at the American Museum of Natural Historyp. 15
3. Margaret Mead, Teacherp. 33
4. On the Lecture Trailp. 51
5. A Palo Alto Houseguestp. 65
6. Margaret Mead, Employment Agentp. 95
7. She Belongs to Everybodyp. 121
8. Shadowing Her in Mexicop. 155
9. She Refused to Be Labeled Terminalp. 181
10. She Never Said Good-byep. 237
Indexp. 263
About the Authorp. 273