Evolution Of Racism / Edition 1

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In an intellectually engaging narrative that mixes science and history, theories and personalities, Pat Shipman asks the question: Can we have legitimate scientific investigations of differences among humans without sounding racist?

Through the original controversy over evolutionary theory in Darwin's time; the corruption of evolutionary theory into eugenics; the conflict between laboratory research in genetics and fieldwork in physical anthropology and biology; and the continuing controversies over the heritability of intelligence, criminal behavior, and other traits, the book explains both prewar eugenics and postwar taboos on letting the insights of genetics and evolution into the study of humanity.

In an engaging narrative that combines science and history, Shipman's eye-opening book illustrates how scientific findings have historically been misused in controversies over racial differences and the heritability of intelligence, criminal behavior, and other traits.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
Shipman has written a courageous, thought-provoking and elegant book.
New York Times Book Review
This smoothly written book is a welcome addition to intellectual history.
Los Angeles Times
Shipman has written a courageous, thought-provoking and elegant book.
New York Times Book Review
This smoothly written book is a welcome addition to intellectual history.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Shipman, coauthor of The Neanderthals , has written an accessible history of the attempts of scientists, from the mid-19th century to the present, to grapple with issues of race. From Charles Darwin's wide-ranging explorations of evolution emerged fellow Briton's Thomas Henry Huxley's applications to human history. By the late 19th century, Herbert Spencer seized on Darwinism to argue for laissez-faire government. Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton, proposed the idea of eugenics: advancing the species through careful breeding. From eugenics came intelligence testing, used in the early 20th century to the detriment of immigrants to America and eventually by Nazi science. Shipman tracks the continuing controversy in the 1950s and 1960s about whether to examine or deny racial difference and discusses at much length a proposed but canceled 1992 conference on genetics and crime. This thoughtful study warns that treating race as a taboo subject hinders legitimate scientific investigation of differences among humans. (July)
Library Journal
Shipman, coauthor of The Neandertals (LJ 12/92), is quickly becoming one of the better popular science writers working today. Here she traces the intertwined history of evolution and racism from the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species to current controversies over genetic links to violent behavior. Despite the title, the story focuses more on the history of race as a scientific concept than on the misappropriation of such concepts by political leaders and social crusaders. As a result we learn much about the scientists involved in the debate but only a little about the use and abuse of science by nonscientists. Still, Shipman's book is clearly written and very accessible. A valuable addition to most libraries.-Eric Hinsdale, Trinity Univ. Lib., San Antonio
Responding to the long-standing appropriation and subversion of scientific findings and theories to support various racist ideas and policies, paleoanthropologist Shipman presents a dual history of evolutionary theory and ideas about race and racism, in an accessible narrative that mixes science and history, theories and personalities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674008625
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Shipman is Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has won numerous awards and honors for her writing, including the 1997 Rh├┤ne-Poulenc Prize for The Wisdom of the Bones (coauthored with Alan Walker) and the Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Science for Taking Wing, which was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1998.
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Table of Contents



Chapter 1. One Long Argument: 1857

Chapter 2. A Man Who Has Lost Himself

Chapter 3. The Question of Questions for Mankind


Chapter 4. Enthusiastic Propagandism

Chapter 5. Freedom in Science


Chapter 6. Survival of the Unfittest

Chapter 7. Sweeping Toward a Racial Abyss


Chapter 8. As Blond as Hitler

Chapter 9. All Non-Jews Are Anti-Semitic


Chapter 10. Pernicious Doctrines of Racial Inequality

Chapter 11. As Brainwashed as Pavlov's Puppies

Chapter 12. To Padlock the Mind


Chapter 13. The Ratio of Light to Heat

Chapter 14. A Conflict Character

Epilogue: Valuing the Differences




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