Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century

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This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and “provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics by one of the nation’s leading legal scholars and social critics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Fatal Invention is a triumph!”
—Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid and Deadly Monopolies

“This is the best book of the year… If you read one work of nonfiction a year, make this the one.”
The New York Journal of Books

“[Roberts] dismantles the reasons for using race to determine healthy policy and exposes how embedded social assumptions can shape medicine’s research agenda and distort science.”
Ms. Magazine

—Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of Racism Without Racists

“Devastatingly counters any argument that can be made for a racial view of genetics.”
The Brooklyn Rail

“Alarming but not alarmist, controversial but evidential, impassioned but rational.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Thought-provoking, well-researched, [and] insightful.”

“A must-read for those looking for an enlightened discussion of race in the 21st century.”
Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595588340
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 390
  • Sales rank: 518,157
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy Roberts is the fourteenth Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights. She is the author of the award-winning Killing the Black Body and Shattered Bonds and is the co-editor of six books on gender and constitutional law. She serves as chair of the board of directors of the Black Women’s Healthy Imperative and lives in Evanston, Illinois.
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Table of Contents


Part I: Believing in Race in the Genomic Age
1. The Invention of Race
2. Separating Racial Science from Racism

Part II: The New Racial Science
3. Redefining Race in Genetic Terms7
4. Medical Stereotyping
5. The Allure of Race in Biomedical Research
6. Embodying Race

Part III: The New Racial Technology
7. Pharmacoethnicity
8. Color-Coded Pills
9. Race and the New Biocitizen
10. Tracing Racial Roots

Part IV: The New Biopolitics of Race
11. Genetic Surveillance
12. Biological Race in a “Postracial” America

Conclusion: The Crossroads

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