An unfortunately dry book is nevertheless an authoritative, orderly composite of information about the Plains Indians and their cultures. Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Lowie has also been curator of the American Museum of Natural History, with a life of absorbed study of his subject in all aspects and from the time of first contacts with white men. Defining the rather wide limits of plains culture-statistically, linguistically, geographically- he proceeds then to talk of their material culture (hunting, fishing, agriculture), social organization (marriage, kinship, warfare) games, religion and the supernatural, and pre-historical existence. Within each section there are allusions to the different tribes and their variations, with helpful examples of typical instances of their practices. But in sum, the inner life, the emotional and cultural character of the Indians does not come through, and Lowie, at work here in a referential capacity, makes none of the vivid communication of Benedict or Mead.