on 25 January 2007
There are many more reviews of this book over on Amazon.com, where it is amusing to see people getting their knickers in a twist trying to trash the book. I say don't listen to them, (or even to me!); buy it and make up your own mind. Anyone (and I mean anyone) who is interested in human variation should find something of interest in this book. Sure, it will make a lot of people angry, but then so what! I personally enjoyed it enormously, but if you are of a 'PC' bent it may make your hair fall out!!! ;-)
on 24 November 2011
The book sets out to prove a very simple idea, which would be commonsense if it weren't for politically correct ideology: that races in fact do exist as a biological reality, and that they do differ in many physical and (yes) possibly mental traits.
They debunk a number of politically correct but ultimately meaningless statements (e.g. "we are all Africans", or "85% of genetic variance is within ethnic groups", or "we share 99.99% of our genes with each other"), and show how political correctness has led to distorted or outright falsified accounts of recent genetic and biological findings.
They also propose how to deal with the issues of race - one might or might not agree with them, but getting the facts straight (which is the bulk of the book) is important no matter what.
on 13 September 2006
This book should be called, "Racism: We Didn't Start It!". With the help of a mere handful of historical anecdotes (which ignore broader historical evidence), the authors stumble over themselves to prove that racism did not originate with Europeans. In particular, they refer to a few derogatory comments about Black Africans made by Greeks, Arabs, Egyptians, etc., and inflate them into sweeping generalisations about the views of the ancient world. For example, two references are made to the stele of the Twelfth Dynasty Pharaoh Sesostris III, whilst carefully ignoring the centuries-long reign of the Kushite Empire; and the destructive sweep of the Aryans from the Caucasus Mountains into India, introducing the caste system and gender oppression, is also ignored. In order to justify its premise, the core of the book relies on Sarich's extensive anthropological knowledge. Whilst very informative of itself, this data provides no definitive answers to most of the authors' claims. The book ends with the expected call to avoid racism, and seems to feel that this is the task of government to force upon individuals, rather than the consequence of a more enlightened society.