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Human Variation: Races, Types, and Ethnic Groups (6th Edition) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0131927650 ISBN-10: 0131927655 Edition: 6th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 6 edition (December 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131927655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131927650
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This volume examines the range of human biological diversity in contemporary populations, and discusses and evaluates past attempts to classify and explain human variation in the light of recent data and theoretical interpretations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Discarding race as misleading, Human Variation: Races, Types, and Ethnic Groups examines the biology of human variation at the population level. It argues that diversity is a reflection of humans' ability to adapt to environments, organize activities, and regulate breeding behavior. This book reviews the history, behavior, and demography of contemporary populations and the distribution of major distinctions of body form, size, and skin color. The book traces the concept of race and analyzes faulty perceptions of human differences and issues of racism on assumed inherited inequality. It incorporates the latest DNA technology into a discussion of genetic markers including their adaptive significance. It also reviews ongoing evolution. The fourth edition of Human Variation: Races, Types, and Ethnic Groups has been revised to include a reorganization of chapters to unite discussions of inherited traits with explanations of their adaptive significance. The book also includes the latest data and a glossary of the latest terminology. A valuable reference book for any reader interested in the biological diversity of the human species. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "electric5heep" on September 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Having survived a quarter-long course in anthropology using this as a textbook, I've acquired a pretty good feel for its strengths and its faults.
Let's start with the latter and work toward the former. What will bother most people is the occasionally lacking organization/illustration of the subject matter. While this is fine in a college environment, the layman can easily get lost in its pages. The chapters were probably practical enough from the author's perspective, the bulk going from one "racial" feature to another and exposing the actual evolutionary roots, but I would have liked more theoretical continuity.
Also, despite the mass of excellent data, the book lacks a proper genetic analysis of human variation. Research has given us an idea of how far various conventional "groups" are from each other, genetically speaking--sometimes in direct contravention to the expected associations. This sort of analysis is elementary to tracking our remarkable journey into the far reaches of the world, and should not be omitted in a text that considers what happened in the process.
As an extension of my first complaint, it's the lack of theoretical perspective which makes "A reader's" review possible. Had the author made the meta-scientific point of race being an irrelevant construct, my fellow reviewer would not have spoken of "...the big *racial* differences in size, speed, leaping ability, and muscularity...," since there are quite valid selective factors behind such variation, independent of any perceived "race." To Molnar's credit, he *does* take a look at stature in its evolutionary context. In any case, one must not turn "a feature present in people seen as belonging to a race" into "a racial feature.
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29 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
Everybody is supposed to "celebrate diversity" these days, but in practice that seems to mean stomping on anybody who actually want to do it. Few things are less welcome these days in American academia than a discussion of what we all see as we walk down the street each day: the remarkable biodiversity of the human species. Only a few selectively bred species like dogs exceed humans in variability of size, color, and temperment.
This textbook reviews most of the duller, politically less incendiary topics in human biodiversity: e.g., blood types, sickle cell genes for preventing malaria, and high-altitude adjustments. He shies away from the more fun topics like the big racial differences in size, speed, leaping ability, and muscularity, which we all see so vividly illustrated in the Olympics and in American pro sports. (What are all those huge Samoans doing in the NFL if human biodiversity doesn't matter much?) And, to prove that his heart is in the right place politically, Molnar mails in a pro forma denunciation of Arthur Jensen and the other Bell Curvers. Ho hum.
Steve Sailer
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jason Fox on September 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Molnar's book is a wonderful introduction to human genetics, variation, and racial classification (that is, race is an illusion), just as the title suggests. Parts of the book are highly involved and technical, giving both the amateur and the professional room for learning. The book would be great for undergrads and graduate students.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LisaG on May 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Molnar's text begins (for most of the book) in science and the search for categorising differences caused by mutation and adaptation. It then moves to biology... for the rest of the book with maybe a chapter or two on straight history. If you want to discover the truth about why there is no biological basis for "race" I highly suggest this book, read along with Brace's "Race is a Four-Letter Word".
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