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Kate Douglas Wiggin (September 28, 1856 - August 24, 1923) was an American educator and author of children's stories, most notably the classic children's novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. She started the first free kindergarten in San Francisco in 1878 (the Silver Street Free Kindergarten). With her sister during the 1880s, she also established a training school for kindergarten teachers. Kate Wiggin devoted her adult life to the welfare of children in an era when children were commonly thought of as cheap labour.
This one-man, one-act, two scene play is a biography of Frederick Douglass. It chronicles the life of Douglass beginning with childhood in the plantation system, his life as a young adult slave, the escape to freedom and the gradual rise to prominence as a national spokesperson and advocate for racial equality and the abolition of slavery. The author blends his words and those of Douglass to create a compelling, uncompromising life story of an American slave turned American statesman. With history as a backdrop we discover that the words of Douglass resonate through the generations and are as meaningful today as they were during slavery, the Civil War and emancipation. Those words, in essence, are a message of hope and a reminder that the value of life is not determined by the color of one's skin.
Cultures and Crises brings thirteen essays on culture, not previously collected, from the last decade and a half of Mary Douglas's life. Focussing on the collaborative development of 'cultural theory' from the 'grid and group' analysis of the 1970s through to is application and elaboration in her later thought, the material covers questions of culture and institutions, the challenges to culture posed by climate change and the nature of risk in culture. Written in the last two decades of her life, Cultures and Crises finds Douglas developing analyses of critical conditions facing contemporary societies, sometimes in the company of distinguished co-authors across the whole gamut of social sciences. What emerges is the most complete picture of Douglas's cultural theory that is currently available to us. A Very Personal Method brings together writings in different genres composed over her whole career to demonstrate a distinctive style of thought and expression, which ranged freely between consideration of family and friends, the demands of domestic routine and her membership of the Roman Catholic church, and global issues of environment and security. Richard Fardon has collated a fascinating collection of original material to provide a definitive account of Douglas's methodology, revealing a thinker who was continuously innovative and individual. Mary Douglas (1921-2007) remains one of the most widely read social anthropologists of her generation. She began her research career in Africa but soon developed her interests in religions and classification comparatively, which became the theoretical approach to different forms of society that she initially called 'grid and group theory', and later 'cultural theory'. Douglas began to work intensively and collaboratively on Western society. While continuing to write extensively on social theory, Douglas's later decades were devoted to close reading of the first five books of the Old Testament to radically re-envision the societies which gave rise to them. She continued to work collaboratively on contemporary questions of climate change, risk, terrorism, gun control, witchcraft movements, and the role of women in organized religious life. Her ability to find similar patterns in the familiar and unfamiliar allowed her to explain complex anthropological ideas to a wide readership. A week before her death, Mary Douglas was invested as a Dame of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace.
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