- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Plume (June 28, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452286581
- ISBN-13: 978-0452286580
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#369,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #653 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Specific Demographics > Minority Studies
- #1114 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Specific Demographics > Ethnic Studies
- #1851 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Sociology > Race Relations > Discrimination & Racism
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America Paperback – June 28, 2005
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
A former professor of biology and African American studies summarizes the history and science of race from its early identity as a "scientific fact" to its current status as a social construction in this unevenly argued book. Graves is adept at simplifying complex ideas-such as natural selection, sexual selection and genetic distance-so they can easily be understood by readers with only a passing familiarity with the basics of biology. And his first chapter, in which he uses evidence from the human genome project to prove that there is only one race of human beings and explains why physical differences are not an accurate reflection of genetic difference, is particularly fascinating. When it comes to discussing race as a contemporary cultural and political phenomenon, however, Graves rarely rises beyond half-hearted analysis, and he concludes almost exclusively with statements about white social domination. For example, when discussing the O.J. Simpson trial, he declares that "if they white people had Simpson at hand, they would have taught him ... that as a black man, he would never get away with violating a white females innocence." Elsewhere, his diatribe against the mistreatment of minorities in academia is vitriolic enough to sound conspiratorial. ("Promotion and tenure for nonwhites," he says, "often boils down ... to how palatable ... they are deemed by those who maintain white social domination within that university.") Unfortunately, such broad generalizations pervade much of the book and suggest that it is less interested in provoking intelligent debate than it is on replacing one set of stereotypes with another. Fans of Stephen J. Gould may recognize many of this books better arguments from his seminal volume The Mismeasure of Man, which presented them in much more thoughtful detail..
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Graves, an evolutionary biologist and professor, debunks numerous myths associated with the biological basis of race. His central premise is that there is greater variation within socially constructed races than between them, yet biological differences are often presumed to be an acceptable focus in areas of medicine, disease, and other public-oriented concerns. Graves attacks head-on the false assumptions associated with biological distinctions. Although he allows for certain genetic and biological points of differences, he asserts that their interplay with the environment and culture are too often overlooked and that, for example, differences in health and mortality rates between blacks and whites are more reflective of racism than biology. Noting the popular presumptions about blacks being biologically superior athletes, for example, Graves' analysis of track-and-field Olympic events undermines the weak basis of this and other popular fallacies on race. Graves' integration of science and objective analysis with popular biological assumptions about race makes this an enlightening and provocative work. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
He explains that the race myth exists in America as an outgrowth of European dominance. When they first landed in the New World, they sought aid and advice from the indigenous people but that quickly faded as they decided to take the land from the previous owners. In addition, they began to import stolen Africans to cultivate the large tracts of land in their search for wealth. In order to make the system work, they had to establish the idea of "race" and along with that, the notion of superiority and inferiority. The Europeans were of superior intelligence, Indians down a notch and Africans on the bottom. According to Graves, this structuring of "race" is actually a social construct to maintain control. These ideas have persisted and are obvious in the distribution of employment, education and wealth in America. He goes on further to explore the myth that African Americans are more athletically inclined than European Americans including the history of the NBA and how and when African Americans began to "dominate" that sport.
In conclusion, Graves calls for each of us to do our part in dismantling this social construct and to work for justice and equality. While he admits that everyone will not read or heed this book, history has shown that even small groups can bring about change and he urges us to do our part.
Even though I've been hearing that race was a social construct, I have never seen it broken down and explained so thoroughly. Graves does an excellent job of giving us the scientific facts with the social examples to back his arguments. He demonstrates time and again how similar we are as human beings. He explains the so called gap in African American and European American scores on tests such as the SAT, the LSAT and the GRE, which are used to determine which students go to what college or university. He explores the poverty, the under funded educational systems that exist in this country and how that affects the outcomes. He does a marvelous job of showing how this is by design and not by accident. He most definitely takes the authors of The Bell Curve, Herrnstein and Murray, to task for reenergizing the claim that genetics explained the differences in test scores. I would recommend this book for all thinking human beings.
Reviewed by alice Holman
of the RAWSISTAZReviewers
and negroids" is a figment of the 19th century imagination. At the genetic level, population groups do not fall into such neat packages. In the course of making his point about race, he explodes several related myths at the same time. American society's obsession with black athletes is just that, an
irrational obsession. Graves makes the point that since there are more Europeans in the National Basketball Association than Africans, then the most logical conclusion that we can draw is not that "blacks" are superior athletes, but rather that the European rather than African side of African-Americans mixed ancestry might account for their superiority in this
sport. The author raises and then persuasively answers some of those thorny questions about race that many of us surely ponder but feel too inhibited by considerations of political correctness to pose aloud: if skin color is genetic in the sense that it is based on a person's biology, then why isn't
that person's race genetically valid? How could it be that a random white patient might find his black next door neighbor a compatible blood donor, while his white sister-in-law is not? If the races aren't real, then why can forensics specialist identify the race of a perpetrator in a crime from DNA evidence? Since blacks and not whites suffer from sickle-cell anemia, doesn't that validate the concept of race? Or, how can we be so sure that intelligence is not a function of racial inheritance since blacks consistently score 15 points below whites on IQ exams? If you're itching for the answers, then read this marvelous book!
Dr. Joseph L . Graves Jr.
also author of: The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, RUP, 2005.
Most recent customer reviews
Obviously evo didn't stop cold with the First Sapien. Yet that is what the PC WANT to believe.Read more
"A scientist, like anyone else, is responsible for the foreseeable consequences of his acts...Read more
The Title is misleading. The book is about race. It is a political screed the basis of which is that racial differences in the U.S.Read more