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The Myth of Race: Our DNA Defines Who We Are Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: TCS Scientific (January 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615440304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615440309
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Spelsberg has a Ph.D. in Biochemical Genetics, and is a researcher in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He has been a principal scientist at the Mayo Clinic for almost four decades. During his career, he has also worked for MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as Vanderbilt University.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By hendi on February 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book reads very well, is informative, funny, and made me feel smarter. Strongly recommend. Every high school sociology class should have this as required reading!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ksp on April 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "The Myth of Race", Dr. Spelsberg puts his vast knowledge of biology, genetics, and history into lay terms which are easy for the book's readers to understand. This book is indeed Spelsberg's personal masterpiece, a culmination of research and findings regarding both science and human history - who we are, why we are who we are, and how we got that way. Excellent and well-executed in presentation and form, "The Myth of Race" is a must-read!
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By ronaldlincoln on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author merely states the obvious in an easy to read, breezy style. Never professorial he lays out eveything in everyman terms with all the genetic ducks in a row. You can knock the book off in no time and will come out on the other side more informed and headed down the right path of the "race" conversation. The author pins "race' down for what it is..a social invention that has no biological basis in fact!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Lewis on September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
This slim volume is quite possibly the worst contemporary book on race written to date. The author makes some very serious philosphical errors, and then some factual ones on top of that. Rather than going line by line through the entire book, I want to point out some of the worst errors.

First is his conflating the terms ethnicity and race. They are not the same thing, as any sociologist will tell you. The mere fact that races may not exist (which is still uncertain after you read the book carefully) does not mean that the two terms can be conflated. They refer to completely different and incompatible things.

Second, the author claims that "many of the concepts of race have now been shown by science to be a myth." This is carefully worded, to be sure, but this gets the author into trouble. Here, he properly distinguishes the idea of race and beliefs or concepts about race. Yet, this seems to imply that races may indeed exist. More egregiously, the use of the term science is herein problematic. Science is not a thing. It is particularly not a unitary thing. It is a way of thinking about the world that has many manifestations. To say that science has done this or that is to essentialize science. Indeed, there are in fact some scientific disciplines that accept the concept of race, such as forensic anthropology and pharmacogenetics. There are also credible scientists in many disciplines--including the author's discipline of genetics--who accept the idea of race. So the author's claim is disingenuous.

His history of racism is too simplistic, and ignores a considerable amount of archaeological and historical evidence that belie some of his broad claims. The author seems here to rely primarily on one source. He needs to do more research here.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By usmdj on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Arbitrary definitions of race and ethnicity? Yes we all decended from a common ancestor. But yet a new drug will cure one person and kill another because of genetic differences. People are different and wishful thinking will not make it different.
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