Mr. America's Creator: The Race Science of Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, 1896-1943

Linda Magaña
After nearly half a century's work to establish the field of American physical anthropology, Dr. Ales Hrdlicka1 died quietly in his home in Washington, D.C. on September 5, 1943. A leading public intellectual, Hrdlicka had been the director of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian Institute for forty years. He was an original proponent of the Bering Strait theory of migration, at the time a controversial position arguing that the first humans in the Americas migrated from Asia across a land
more » ... ridge roughly 12,000 years ago. A survey of Hrdlicka's resume, full of similarly impressive accomplishments, glosses over the nuanced and complicated intellectual development of this Bohemian-born American physical anthropologist. This thesis explores the tension embedded in Dr. Hrdlicka's conceptual vision, a vision limited by his—and to a large extent, the nation's—obsession with the quantification of race.
doi:10.7916/d8pn9cmt fatcat:vaxjjea6dbatpat3jbqy5eisnq