"Race" Is a Four-Letter Word: The Genesis of the Concept

Paperback | February 1, 2005

byC. Loring Brace

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A tour de force work by a leading scholar, "Race" Is a Four-Letter Word explores the history of the concept of race in America, the reasons why the concept has no biological validity, and the ways in which it grew to become accepted as an idea that virtually everyone regards as self-evident.An ardent and eloquent opponent of typology, essentialism, and stereotyping, C. Loring Brace has based this engaging study on the "Problems of Race" course that he has taught at the University of Michigan for the past thirty-five years. Opening with an explanation of why the concept of race is biologically indefensible, "Race" Is a Four-Letter Word shows how the major elements of human biological variation have unrelated distributions and cannot be understood if the existence of "races" is assumed as a starting point. Thebook then examines the course of events that created the concept of race, journeying through time from Herodotus through Marco Polo; to the Renaissance and the role of the New World; on up to the American Civil War, the curious results of the alliance switch in World War I, Arthur Jensen, The BellCurve, J. Philippe Rushton, and the Pioneer Fund in the twenty-first century. Ideal as a supplementary text in anthropology courses, "Race" Is a Four-Letter Word can also be used in history of science courses and sociology courses. It is captivating reading for professionals and anyone else who seeks enlightenment on the socially debatable issue of "race."

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A tour de force work by a leading scholar, "Race" Is a Four-Letter Word explores the history of the concept of race in America, the reasons why the concept has no biological validity, and the ways in which it grew to become accepted as an idea that virtually everyone regards as self-evident.An ardent and eloquent opponent of typology, ...

C. Loring Brace is at University of Michigan.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 0.71 inPublished:February 1, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195173511

ISBN - 13:9780195173512

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Table of Contents

Preface: Introduction: 1. THE BIOLOGY OF HUMAN VARIATIONBackground of a BeliefAdaptive Traits: Clines2. THE PERCEPTION OF HUMAN DIFFERENCES IN THE PASTWhat Shall We Call "Them?"The Peasant PerspectiveAntiquityRenaissanceEnlightenment: The "Age of Reason"Science and The Greatness of GodThe Limits of ReasonLinnaeus and ClassificationBuffon and ContinuityCamper and the Facial AngleAssessing the Meaning of Human Differences3. ONE ORIGIN OR MANY?The Roots of "Polygenism"Monogenism4. ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE ENLIGHTENMENTBlumenbach and "Degeneration"The Scottish Enlightenment Comes to AmericaSamuel Stanhope Smith: "Race" From the Perspective of the American Enlightenment5. THE TRIUMPH OF FEELING OVER REASONRomanticism6. PHRENOLOGY7. THE FOUNDING OF THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF ANTHROPOLOGYThe Postcolonial United States of AmericaSamuel George Morton and the American Origin of Biological Anthropology8. PASSING THE TORCHLouis Agassiz, Archetypical American9. THE DEMISE OF MONOGENISM AND THE RISE OF POLYGENISMJohn Bachman: The Last MonogenistJosiah Clark Nott: The Voice of American RacialismScotland: Dr. Robert KnoxFrance: Comte de Gobineau10. TOWARD A WAR OVER SLAVERY AND AFTERWARDGeorge R. Gliddon"Race" and PoliticsWar and Its Aftermath11. THE FRENCH CONNECTIONPaul Broca and the Professionalization of Biological Anthropology12. THE LEGACY OF THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN AMERICANathaniel Southgate Shaler (1841-1906)The First World WarThe French Connection and the Concept of "Race"William Z. Ripley and the Magic ThreeMadison GrantLothrop Stoddard13. THE ETHOS OF EUGENICSEugenicsEugenics Exported to AmericaGermany"Race" and Eugenics Applied to the Shaping of America14. HENRY FORD AND THE ETHOS OF THE HOLOCAUSTThe Anti-Semitism of Henry FordThe Protocols of the Elders of Zion15. THE OUTLOOK OF THE "BIGOT BRIGADE""Race" and "Intelligence"Statistical Theology and the Worship of gSir Cyril Burt: "Scientific" Fraud16. THE GALTONIAN LEGACY IN AMERICAWorld War I"Intelligence" and ImmigrationLewis Terman and Genetic PredestinationWalter Lippmann Versus the Termanites17. "RACE" IN BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGYAles Hrdlicka and the Smithsonian: Organizing the ProfessionAcademia and the Patterns of Thought in Biological Anthropology: Sir Arthur KeithKeith's Influence on America: Earnest Albert HootonCarleton Coon on "Race"Science and Society on "Race" After World War II18. THE LEGACY OF THE PIONEER FUNDThe Promotion of "Scientific" RacismJensenismThe Bell CurveJ. Philippe Rushton: Apostle of ApartheidRichard Lynn19. "OTHERISM"AfterthoughtsSources Cited: Index:

Editorial Reviews

"I found this book coherent, plausible, scholarly, engaging, and entertaining to read. If I were recommending this text to my colleagues, I would point to its thorough historical scope and scholarship, its ingratiating style, its distinctly individual voice, and its unique and valuable insights. This is a good, interesting, well-written book by someone who knows a great deal about both human biology and intellectual history."--Matt Cartmill, Professor of Anthropology, Duke University "The Brace manuscript is a tour de force. It represents a major contribution to our understanding of the history of race and racism."--George Armelagos, Professor of Anthropology, Emory University "This is a splendid manuscript on a much needed topic. The topic is timely and I have the greatest respect for the erudition and fine writing style that Dr. Brace provides in this original work. Dr. Brace is a highly respected biological anthropologist and this book will attract a wide reading audience of professionals and other readers who seek enlightenment on the socially debatable issue of race."--Kenneth A. R. Kennedy, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology, and Asian Studies, Cornell University "I would recommend this text without reservation to anyone who wants a detailed history of the idea of race in science. If one wants to know what individual scientists were doing and thinking, and one does not have time to read them, then this is THE BOOK."--Alan Goodman, Professor of Biological Anthropology, Hampshire College