Quote: Franz Boas the pinko

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Wilton Krogman, in a footnote to his review, “Fifty years of physical anthropology.”

I have told this story to a few friends, and I repeat it here. In 1933 I became a consultant in skeletal identification to the FBI, and in 1938 I wrote a "Guide," published in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. During World War II, I was in the Washington office of the FBI and an agent approached me and asked me in knew a Professor Franz Boas, and what did I know about him? I asked why. He told me that Boas was under investigation, and was to be brought up for interrogation because of personal identification with so many "un­American" and "pinko" groups. I told him in no uncertain terms of the personal integrity of the man, adding that so sincere was he in his liberal views that I was quite sure that his name on an organizational letterhead meant most often that he "lent" his name in sympathy rather than in 100% endorsement. Hoover called off his "birddogs."


Krogman, W. M. (1976). Fifty years of physical anthropology: The men, the material, the concepts, the methods. Annual Review of Anthropology, 5(1), 1-15.