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Personal Reflections on the 1982 Special Anthropometric Issue of Social Science History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 January 2016

Extract

Looking back at the more than 20 years that have gone by since the 1982 special issue of Social Science History, it is interesting to observe how important the study of anthropometric data has been in contributing to economic history and related disciplines.While there had been numerous earlier comments by contemporary observers as well as by scholars about heights and their implications as seen in JamesTanner's marvelous study, A History of the Study of Human Growth (1981), the systematic work that was reflected in the 1982 volume was then only about six or seven years old in the United States. It represented the early output of a study directed by Robert Fogel, primarily through the Development of the American Economy (DAE) project of the National Bureau of Economic Research.There had been a few previous publications including my own piece in Local Population Studies (Engerman 1976). My first use of the height-by-age data was in response to a dinnerparty conversation in 1974 with two ofmy colleagues in the Rochester history department:Herbert Gutman and Christopher Lasch.

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Copyright © Social Science History Association 2004

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References

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