Montagu, Ashley (Montague Francis Ashley Montagu) [key], 1905–99, British-American anthropologist, b. London as Israel Ehrenberg, Ph.D. Columbia Univ., 1937. He was assistant professor of anatomy in the Graduate School of Medicine, New York Univ. (1931–38), associate professor at Hahnemann College and Hospital in Philadelphia (1938–49), and professor and chair of the department of anthropology at Rutgers Univ. (1949–55). He is best known for his argument that aggression is not a natural human drive and for having discredited “race” as a specious and dangerous concept in the social sciences. Montagu's writings achieved popular success, which diminished his acceptance among academics. Among his more than 60 works are The Nature of Human Aggression (1976), Growing Young (1981), Science and Creationism (1983), Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race (1942, 6th ed. 1998), and The Natural Superiority of Women (1953, 5th ed. 1999).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Anthropology: Biographies