Last modified on 22 October 2014, at 05:46

Ashley Montagu

Ashley Montagu (June 28, 1905 – November 26, 1999) was a British-American anthropologist and humanist who wrote about issues such as race and gender and their relation to politics and development.


  • [C]ircumcision, an archaic ritual mutilation that has no justification whatever and no place in a civilized society.
  • The family unit is the institution for the systematic production of mental illness.
    • Interview on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson" promoting the latest edition of his book The Natural Superiority of Women (orig. 1952)
    • Quoted in David Berg, Run, Brother, Run, Simon and Schuster, 2013, p. 242.
  • The Eskimos live among ice all their lives but have no single word for ice.
    • Man: His first Million Years, this quote begins the penultimate chapter of Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan
  • The world is so full of wonderful things we should all, if we were taught how to appreciate it, be far richer than kings.
    • Montagu, Ashley (1989). Growing Young. Granby, Massachusetts: Bergin & Garvey. p. 120. 
  • The ability to play is one of the principal criteria of mental health.
    • Montagu, Ashley. The Universal Nature of Play. 

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