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The Evolution of Racism

Human Differences and the Use and Abuse of Science

By (author) Pat Shipman
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd, London, United Kingdom
Published: 1st Jul 1994
Dimensions: w 160mm h 240mm d 28mm
Weight: 560g
ISBN-10: 0671754602
ISBN-13: 9780671754600
Barcode No: 9780671754600
Ever since Charles Darwin first wrote about the "descent of man, " the differences between the human races have been the subject of the most enduring controversy over the "origin of the species." Evolutionary theory has been used and abused as a scientific justification or intellectual weapon by racists and anti-racists alike. Careers have been made and broken, lives dedicated or sacrificed, societies destroyed, and wars fought over what Darwin called the "value of the differences" among humankind. The Evolution of Racism is a history of both evolutionary theory and ideas about race and racism. In an intellectually engaging narrative that mixes science and history, theories and personalities, Pat Shipman explains the original controversy over evolution in Darwin's time; the corruption of evolutionary theory into eugenics; the conflict between laboratory research in genetics and field work in physical anthropology and biology, which gave rise to the "new synthesis" of modern evolutionary biology, which in turn cast new light on the age-old debate over nature verses nurture; and the continuing controversies over the heritability of intelligence, criminal behavior, and other traits. The Evolution of Racism gives a fresh picture of familiar characters such as Darwin, Thomas Huxley, and Ashley Montagu, and introduces general readers to less well known but influential figures such as Ernst Haeckel, the scientific father of the eugenics movement, and Carleton Coon, the last of the great anthropologist/explorers, whose life-long work on racial differences became the center of a bitter academic feud that spilled over into public life. A sober and sobering examination of the most volatilequestions about human differences, The Evolution of Racism is a scientific and intellectual history that will open the topic for much-needed discussion and open our minds along the way.

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