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Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race Paperback – November 26, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0803946484 ISBN-10: 0803946481 Edition: 6th Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press; 6th Edition edition (November 26, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803946481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803946484
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #962,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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This timeless work is more relevant today than ever. (Kenneth Hemmerick Israfax)

This classic remains one of the most important must-read books for the educated citizen in our pluralistic society. (Multicultural Perspectives)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By NOLA Darling on April 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My review of this book is basically a heartfelt one. I read this book over 15 years ago. The thing that struck me as the most prominent theme in this book was that "race", as a differentia- tion among humans, is exclusively a social con- struct.
Race, per se, is non-existent because the simil-arities that are exhibited between humans by far outweigh the differences. In fact, race is a term that is used to disignate groups within a family that are (or are not) able to mate and have viable offspring. Take the genus Canis (dog's) for example: wolves, coyotes, and domesticated canines can all interbreed and produce viable offspring. Therefore, they are "stains" within the genus "Canis". However, lions, tigers, jaguars, etc... are all part of the genus Felis (cats) but can in no way interbreed and produce viable offspring.
Montagu the goes on to provide different exam-ples of how the human population is more alike than different.
I feel that this book is thorough in it's treatment of how the term race is misused and in it's refutation, through social, empirical, and factual data, of the supposition of one groups superiority/inferiority to another.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer 00001 on May 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Montagu's book was ahead of its time in terms of the DNA evidence on 'races'. There are no such thing as human 'races'. The very idea of 'race' is actually racist. Most biologists, anthropologists, and geneticists ditched the idea of 'race' in the 1950s. The lay public still believes in this myth.

The DNA research against the 'race' myth is very damaging to white supremacists because it undermines their entire worldview. A white supremacist could get their DNA tested and it would demonstrate what DNA haplogroup belonged to their distant ancestors (maternal and/or paternal). The haplogroup would have migrated from Africa and through the Middle East, or Asia and to a white supremacist this violates the mythology that they surround themselves in.

Also, the idea of a "white" person only emerged in the early 1700s. If you were to go to Europe or anywhere else on the planet before the idea of 'race' emerged and ask who is "white", people would look at you as if you were insane. Another funny thing is to compare a piece of paper with the skin color of a "white" person and demonstrate how it never matches.

A modern book by an evolutionary biologist on the 'race' myth is Joseph Graves' (2004) book, "The Race Myth".

Another book that is the most detailed examination of the idea of 'race' is Audrey Smedley's "Race in North America" now in its third edition (2007).
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It really is shocking to discover that race is simply a social construct. Even scientists are duped by the myth of race with sometimes sad results. This book truly exposes how the race myth has disorted our views on society, especially the cognitive abilities of certain groups.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joana Inês Pontes on October 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great edition and a very good book from one of the most important researcher on Race in last sentury. No all book is about the things I'm working on although the chaper 1, 5, 7 and 8 are important for those who are searching for the development of the concept of race and the relashionship with genetics. Specially those who want to Know how the things start!
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