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

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1595588340
ISBN-10: 1595588345
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

“Masterful.”
—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.”
Choice

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

About 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595588345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595588340
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Davis on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the few books that I can honestly say, "The author really changed my thinking." I rarely give books 5 stars, but Fatal Invention deserves it. (I was going to say best book of the year, but realized it was published in 2011.) Not only is it well-reasoned and passionate, it is about a subject that deperately needs to be talked about honestly. Roberts challenges a lot of conventional wisdom in Fatal Invention. The entire book is well worth reading; but two discussions particularly intrigued me. One is the current marketing of drugs toward specific races. A fascinating chapter on the drug BiDil illustrates Robert's point. With no scientific basis, drug companies declared BiDil a drug that would help blacks more than other racial groups, even getting the NAACP to go along with this dubious assertion.

The other huge issue she discusses is the abuse of DNA evidenceby law enforcement. Many people think DNA is a smoking gun in law enforcement,with almost no chance of error. Roberts strongly argues that isn't the case at all. Human error or even deliberate fraud--Roberts mentions that the Houston police department was suspended from using it for a while-- can cause DNA evidence to lead to a wrongful conviction. Fatal Invention is one of the most important books published in the last few years.
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Partly the raves convinced me to read this. I was already on the bandwagon on the "There are no human races and it's destructive to keep talking like there were" thing. This book tied it up with a bow on it. Once you read it, you'll have your opinion set in stone. In my reading experience it was like Gould's Mismeasurement of Man and the New Jim Crow. And I doubt if youi'll ever be at loss for an argument when the subject comes up. Fundamentally, it asks "if there ARE no human races, then what good sevice does the concept serve?". This book makes the answer incredibly clear: NONE! I'd suggest it even if you're already a believer.
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Roberts, a professor of law and sociology, has written an exceedingly well-informed and wise book about race in the post-genome era. She tackles subjects from medical stereotyping and pharmacogenomics to the misguided appeal of ancestry testing. Roberts is equally aware of the immense power of race as a social phenomenon and its worthlessness as biology. Should be read by everyone, but especially by health care professionals and pre-professional students.
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Ok, so I had to read this book for class, it was so informative. Anyone who is aware of the fact that racism exists should read this. At times this book will make your blood boil. At times this book will be a double dosage of sleeping pills. Either way it is an amazing book and will tell you just what race is, as well as what race is not! Great book!
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Format: Paperback
This text is so important for everyone. An unpretentious and accessible inlet to critical readings of scientific discourse and a wonderfully composed history of racial science. Very well-evidenced arguments and incredibly compelling overall. Essential reading especially for all science instructors and scientists. Every high school and college student should read this book. Very readable and approachable for the complex and subversive content. Bravo.
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A refreshing sounded argument for neoracism of our society. She walks you through a short history of race and slavery and paints the future of our society based on current mainstream ideology of biological "race". She anticipants all of readers' questions. You will see thinks differently after this book. No matter who you are and what you believe, you will benefit from reading this book.
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Dorothy Roberts’ new book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the 21st Century is a must read for all human beings desiring to witness the beginning of the end of racism.
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So far, it's really interesting. However, the print is really small. I have some vision issues so reading it is a bit of a struggle. As for the contents of the book itself, I'll say more when I've read more.
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