A Kindly Scrutiny of Human Nature is a collection of essays honouring Richard (Dick) Slobodin, one of the great anthropologists of the Canadian North. A short biography is followed by essays describing his formative thinking about human nature and human identities, his humanizing force in his example of living a moral, intellectual life, his discernment of people’s ability to make informed choices and actions, his freedom from ideological fashions, his writings about the Mackenzie District Métis, his determination to take peoples experience seriously, not metaphorically, and his thinking about social organization and kinship. An unpublished paper about a 1930s caribou hunt in which he participated finishes the collection, giving Dick the last word.
``These essays are loving, thoughtful and well-crafted. The book is a little gem, in fitting tribute to the thoughtful and well-crafted work of Richard Slobodin, one of the founders of the McMaster University Department of Anthropology. ... Harvey Feit's contribution, in addition to being a tribute to his friend and colleague, offers a substantial review of the literature and attendant controversies about band organization and land tenure amoung eastern Algonquians in relation to Slobodin's Gwich'in ethnography. ... It is a must read for students wanting a succinct and even-handed review of this controversy anthropology. ''- Robin Ridington, Anthropologica, 52, 2010