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The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium (Biological Theories of Race at the Millenium) [Kindle Edition]

Joseph L. Graves Jr.
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

 In this groundbreaking book, Joseph Graves traces the development of biological thought about human genetic diversity. Greek philosophy, social Darwinism, New World colonialism, the eugenics movement, intelligence testing biases, and racial health fallacies are just a few of the topics he addresses. Graves argues that racism has persisted in our society because adequate scientific reasoning has not entered into the equation. He champions the scientific method and explains how we may properly ask scientific questions about the nature of population differentiation and how (if at all) we may correlate that diversity to observed human behavior. He also cautions us to think critically about scientific findings that have historically been misused in controversies over racial differences in intelligence heritability, criminal behavior, disease predisposition, and other traits.

According to Graves, this country cannot truly address its racial problems until people understand the empirical evidence behind this truth that separate human races do not exist. With the biological basis for race removed, racism becomes an ideology, one that can and must be deleted.



Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this groundbreaking book, Joseph Graves traces the development of thought about human genetic diversity. He argues that racism has persisted in our society because adequate scientific reasoning has not entered into the equation. Graves champions the scientific method, and explains how we may properly ask questions about the nature of population differentiation and how (if at all) we may correlate that diversity to differences in human capacity and behavior. He also cautions us to think critically about scientific findings that have historically been misused in controversies over racial differences in intelligence heritability, criminal behavior, disease predisposition, and other traits. Greek philosophy, social Darwinism, New World colonialism, the eugenics movement, intelligence testing biases, and racial health fallacies are just a few of the topics he addresses.

According to Graves, this country cannot truly address its racial problems until people understand that separate human races do not exist empirically. With the biological basis for race removed, racism becomes an ideology, one that can and must be expunged.

About the Author

Joseph L. Graves Jr. is a professor of evolutionary biology with appointments in the departments of Life Sciences and African American Studies at Arizona State University's West and Main Campuses.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3288 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (January 31, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SARS70
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(21)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wrote this one too! February 14, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Still a classic and a must read if one wishes to comprehend the history of racial theory in the Western World.

Dr. Joseph L. Graves Jr.
Also author of: The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America, Dutton Books, 2005.
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33 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cautionary tale of research bias August 25, 2001
Format:Hardcover
As the title suggests, The Emperor's New Clothes lays bare the fallacy of race as a meaningful biological concept in human society. Despite the inability for science to justify race classifications in the human species, Graves explains how racists have historically abused the scientific method to promote their own agendas, such as unfounded claims for intelligence differences among the so-called races. This book provides a deeply moving account of the abuses of the race concept throughout the ages. In these pages we read about the dire consequences when a handful of researchers (intentionally or unintentionally) claim that their results prove certain members of society should be held low; thus, the book spins a cautionary tale regarding the critical need for diversity in research science. The work provides an enjoyable (yet stirring) introduction to the subject suitable for a lay audience. In addition, as evidenced by his Notes and Bibliography sections, Graves has thoroughly and meticulously researched his topic and he provides us with an invaluable list of resources for further exploration. Thus, this book is highly recommended for both the casual reader as well as the experienced scholar.
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42 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Biological Theories of Race May 21, 2001
Format:Hardcover
A book that concludes with the declaration that biological races do not exist and that the concept of Race . . . was socially constructed arising from the colonization of the New World and the importation of slaves, mainly from western Africa? (p. 193) merits a salute right off the bat. Of course anyone can just say such things, and a public bombarded by claims and counter-claims might be tempted to dismiss such statements as simply manifestations of ?political correctness.? In this instance, however, the author, Joseph L. Graves, Jr., is a lab geneticist, and he has made his case based upon solid science and not on feel-good social motivations. Of course, the social circumstances cannot be ignored, and in this case, the author, who identifies himself as ?an African-American intellectual? (p. 2), can speak from personal experience. The intentions are declared in the first page with the words, ? Specifically, my goal is to show the reader that there is no biological basis for separation of human beings into races and that the idea of race is a relatively recent social and political construction? (p. 1). It is race itself and the grip it has on the public mind that he is presenting as the emperor without clothes. If races are social constructs and not manifestations of biological reality, how did the universal acceptance of their existence ever come about? The structure of the book is an exploration of the development and application of that perspective from the Greeks to the present day. It gets off to a somewhat rocky start. Aristotle is credited with authorship of the Systema Naturae and the idea that living creatures are hierarchically organized in a scala naturae. In fact that title was used by Linnaeus in the 18th century. Aristotle? Read more ›
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18 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tha naked emperor July 17, 2001
Format:Hardcover
This is a valuable book. It deals with three main areas: (1) the development of the concept of race before Darwin; 2) the rise of "scientific" racism; and (3) a demolishing of the idea of a biological basis for the existence of race. Graves does a good job in outlining the changing rationales for the existence of distinct races, and, more perniciously, the ranking of races into superior and inferior ones. Before the 15th century the concept of race was quite nebulous. Most people did not travel widely or see others who differed substantially from themselves. Although, people have always thought of their own group as "better" than others-- in the past this was a more parochial comparison (town vs town; nation vs nation, etc. The beginning of the Age of Exploration brought the existence of people with quite different physical appearances into the public conscience. This, coupled with the desire of Europeans to conquer and subjugate these newly encountered people, led to the idea of different human races and their inequality. Prior to Darwin, the rationale was creationist based on some supernatural design, or based on presumed taxonomic characteristics (Johann Blumenbach, Georges Buffon).
Darwin's revolution demolished the rationale for races, but this took a long time to come about. The problem is that even if a correct theory is present, the theory must be properly applied. In the case of human races, Edward Spencer's misapplication of Darwin profoundly influenced Anglo-American thinking. His erroneous "survival of the fittest" paradigm made it easy for self-fulfilling analyses of the level of development in different parts of the world, in the 19th century, to be reified as scientific proof of the superiority of the white race.
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15 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transforming our Views of "Race" May 7, 2001
Format:Hardcover
It is rare to find such a cogent and readable book on a scientific topic of such importance, and even rarer to find an uncompromisingly scientific book that lay people can understand, enjoy, and put to important use in their lives. Written by an experimental evolutionary biologist with impeccable credentials both as a scholar and teacher, this is an interdisciplinary book with broad implications in many scholarly fields: public policy, social science, history, literary criticism, psychology, and ethics. Even more crucially, it has urgent implications for the everyday lives of everyone--and this includes all of us, whatever our backgrounds--whose feelings and beliefs, self-knowledge and self-ignorance, actions and sensibilities have been shaped consciously and unconsciously by ideas of "race." It is safe to assume that almost no lay person who reads this book has an inkling of what genetic biologists in general think of the concept of "race," and Graves provides a lucid explanation, together with an invaluable history of changing "scientific" views of the subject. At once scholarly and readable, scientific and impassioned, meticulously documented and aimed explicitly at social transformation, this is a book of monumental importance.
Because my own field is literary criticism, I would like to add a comment on the usefulness of this book for literary scholars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book on race
The history of race and the construction of race is explained in detail. This is very good for anyone who really wants to understand race and is sick if listening to the pendents
Published 8 months ago by Judith Sanders
1.0 out of 5 stars Leftist Politics at its Lowest Ebb
The premise that race is merely an intellectual construct created by Caucasians to support their racist agenda, is leftist politics at its lowest ebb. Read more
Published on March 5, 2008 by Kirkwall
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book on the history of racist thinking
Graves' book, "The Emperor's New Clothes," is outstanding. Graves describes the history of racist thinking and prejudice from the ancient world to the Middle Ages and up to... Read more
Published on April 27, 2005 by Vato-Curandero
4.0 out of 5 stars One Human Race
Joseph Graves' The Emperor's New Clothes is a well-written exposition of the evidence for one single human race. Read more
Published on April 5, 2003 by Bruce Crocker
2.0 out of 5 stars Postmodern Philosophy Mixed with Science
C. Loring Braces's review above is a rehash of his review in the newsletter of the National Center for Science Education. It is a remarkably uncritical review. Dr. Read more
Published on September 8, 2002 by James M. Cargal
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid
Contrary to the aimless rant of a previous viewer who accused the author of The Emperor's New Clothes of special pleading (Whatever that means), Joseph Graves presents a calm,... Read more
Published on July 14, 2002 by Ronald T. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars empassioned but accurate
As a medical scientist at Duke University, I would like to commend Dr. Graves on a superb overview of genetic differences between human populations from different parts of the... Read more
Published on April 27, 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars More lies and distortions about race and genetics
This is another recent book that tries to turn the clock back on racial studies, brain size, psychometrics, and all of the research that has been developed over the past few... Read more
Published on January 5, 2002 by Matt Nuenke http://eugenics.home.att.net
1.0 out of 5 stars Neutrality?
In speaking to the Louisiana education-committee on the anti darwinian-racism resolution, Mr Graves said of an infamous text of Darwin (pasted below) about civilized races... Read more
Published on December 11, 2001 by Mohammad Nor Syamsu
5.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's has no clothes!
As a Cancer reseacher I'm constantly bombarded with questions concerning the significance of race and cancer incidences and survival. Read more
Published on August 3, 2001 by Mack Roach III, MD
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