Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race

Overview

MANS MOST DANGEROUS MYTH- The Fallacy of Race By M. F. ASHLEY MONTAGU. FOREWORD BY ALDOUS HUXLEY: DR. ASHLEY MONTAGUS book possesses two great merits arely found in current discussions ot human problems. Where most writers over-simplify, he insists on the principle of multiple and interlocking causation. And where most assume that facts will speak for themselves, he makes it clear that facts are mere ventriloquists dummies, and can be made to justify any course of action that appeals to the socially conditioned ...
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Overview

MANS MOST DANGEROUS MYTH- The Fallacy of Race By M. F. ASHLEY MONTAGU. FOREWORD BY ALDOUS HUXLEY: DR. ASHLEY MONTAGUS book possesses two great merits arely found in current discussions ot human problems. Where most writers over-simplify, he insists on the principle of multiple and interlocking causation. And where most assume that facts will speak for themselves, he makes it clear that facts are mere ventriloquists dummies, and can be made to justify any course of action that appeals to the socially conditioned passions of the individuals concerned. These two truths are sufficiently obvious but they are seldom recognized, for the good reason that they are very depressing. To recognize the first truth is to recognize the fact that there are no panaceas and that therefore most of the golden promises made by political reformers and revolution aries are illusory. And to recognize the truth that facts do not speak for themselves, but only as mans socially con ditioned passions dictate, is to recognize that our current educational processes can do very little to ameliorate the state of the world. In the language of traditional theology so much more realistic, in many respects, than the liberal philosophies which replaced it, most ignorance is voluntary and depends upon acts of the conscious or subconscious will. Thus, the fallacies underlying the propaganda of racial hatred are not recognized because, as Dr. Montagu points out, most people have a desire to act aggressively, and the members of other ethnic groups are convenient victims, whom one may attack with a good conscience. This desire to act aggressively has its origins in the largely unavoidable frustrations imposed upon the individual by the processes of early education and later adjustments to the social environment. Dr. Montagu might have added that aggressiveness pays a higher dividend in emotional satisfaction than does cooperation. Cooperation may produce a mild emotional glow but the indulgence of aggressivness can be the equivalent of a drinking bout or sexual orgy. In our industrial societies, the goodness of life is measured in terms of the number and intensity of the excitements experienced. Popular philoso phy is moulded by, and finds expression in, the advertising pages of popular magazines. Significantly enough, the word that occurs more frequently in those pages than any other is thrill. Like sex and alcohol, aggressiveness can give enormous thrills. Under existing social conditions, it is there fore easy to represent aggressiveness as good. Concerning the remedies for the social diseases he has so penetratingly diagnosed, Dr. Montagu says very little, except that they will have to consist in some process of education. But what process It is to be hoped that he will answer this question at length in another work.
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Editorial Reviews

Israfax
This timeless work is more relevant today than ever.
— Kenneth Hemmerick
Multicultural Perspectives
This classic remains one of the most important must-read books for the educated citizen in our pluralistic society.
Israfax - Kenneth Hemmerick
This timeless work is more relevant today than ever.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781443725002
  • Publisher: Whitley Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
About the Author 9
Foreword to the First Edition 11
Foreword to the Sixth Edition 13
Preface to the Sixth Edition 25
Introduction 31
1 The Origin of the Concept of Race 41
2 The Fallaciousness of the Older Anthropological Conception of Race 99
3 The Genetical Theory of Race 111
4 The Biological Facts 121
5 Natural Selection and the Mental Capacities of Humankind 145
6 The Mythology of Race, or "For Whom the Bell Tolls" 155
7 Race and Society 175
8 Biological and Social Factors 193
9 Psychological Factors 225
10 The Creative Power of Ethnic Mixture 253
11 Eugenics, Genetics, and Race 297
12 Race and Culture 311
13 Race and War 325
14 Race and Blood 359
15 Innate Aggression and Race 369
16 Myths Relating to the Physical Traits of Blacks 391
17 Are the Jews a Race? 417
18 The First Americans 439
19 The Meaning of Equal Opportunity 453
20 Race and Democracy 461
21 Racism and Social Action 473
22 Sociocultural Behavioral Influences 483
23 Intelligence, IQ, and Race 507
App. A Ethnic Group and Race 521
App. B The Fallacy of the Primitive 531
App. C The Term Miscegenation 537
App. D Intelligence of Northern Blacks and Southern Whites in the First World War 539
Bibliography 567
Index 679
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