Breeding: The human history of heredity, race, and sex

Hardcover | May 1, 2018

byJohn Waller

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Breeding charts more than two thousand years of ideas about the nature of sex and heredity. From the speculations of the ancient, medieval and early modern worlds to the birth of genetics in the modern age, John Waller examines how we came to solve one of the greatest of enigmas: why offspringtend to look like their parents. But this book goes further than telling a story of scientific advance. It also explores the social and political realities which often determined how people used the concept of heredity. It reveals how, from Plato's Republic to the modern IQ and race debate, the notion that some qualities of bodyand mind are inborn has been used to justify the supremacy of social elites and the racist ideologies of those who have profited from slavery and colonial expansion. This is a history of scientific developments, ideological inventions, and how the two have changed one another.

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Breeding charts more than two thousand years of ideas about the nature of sex and heredity. From the speculations of the ancient, medieval and early modern worlds to the birth of genetics in the modern age, John Waller examines how we came to solve one of the greatest of enigmas: why offspringtend to look like their parents. But this b...

John Waller was educated at the universities of Oxford and London, and is now associate professor of the history of medicine at Michigan State University. He is the author of a number of books and articles on the history of science, medicine, and child warfare, including Fabulous Science (OUP, 2002), The Discovery of the Germ (Columbi...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 2018Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199239215

ISBN - 13:9780199239214

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Mary Toft's Rabbits and Noah's Sons: early modern ideas of heredity1. Bred in the bone2. The ideology of blood3. Thinking about race: Moors, slaves and native AmericansPart 2: Progress and Predispositions4. Polydactyly, preformation and racial science5. The invention of progress6. The patrician's malady and other afflictions7. Bakewell's sheep: the vogue for animal breedingPart 3: Good and bad blood in the Nineteenth Century8. Progress and decay9. Breeding in and out10. Monads, men and mockingbirds11. Degeneration and dire predictions12. 'Galaxies of geniuses'Part 4: Eugenics, Genetics and UNESCO Man13. The gospel spreads14. From heredity to genetics15. Edging towards disaster16. 'Lives not worth living'17. The Double Helix and beyond18. The demise of post-war consensusConculsion: a distant mirror?