to Live in One World"
The World War
II period marked a shift in Mead's work. She increasingly paid
more attention to contemporary so-called "complex" cultures, including
the United States, and less time to fieldwork among distant cultures.
She also began commenting on issues of direct concern to American
society. One of Mead's major interests during the war and postwar
period was global interdependence, and she became increasingly
involved in international organizations working on global human
issues. In addition to her continued writing of popular books
and magazine articles, she traveled frequently within the U.S.
and overseas. She lectured to diverse groups, did radio interviews,
and, from the early years of the new medium, appeared on television.
In these years, Mead continued to take notes incessantly, filling
nearly 200 volumes of notebooks on her everyday activities.
In the 1960s
and 1970s, Mead was easily identified by her tall, forked walking
stick, which she began using after recovering from a break in
a chronically weak ankle in 1960, and her trademark cape. In addition
to becoming widely recognized, Mead became an increasingly controversial
figure during this period and was criticized by some people, including
other anthropologists, for offering her views on many different
contemporary topics outside the scope of her research or expertise.
When Mead died
in 1978, she was widely eulogized. Senator Jacob K. Javits of
New York recalled her lasting contribution in a eulogy in the
Congressional Record: "Margaret Mead lives on. She is
with us in the brilliant studies she conducted on human behavior;
she lives on in the many books she has authored . . . her ideas
thrive in the minds of her students whom she stimulated with her
zeal and zest for the search for knowledge and truth."