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Superior: The Return of Race Science Paperback – May 5, 2020

4.3 out of 5 stars 117 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Superior: The Return of Race Science
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An important and timely reminder that race is ‘a social construct’ with ‘no basis in biology.’”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“A well-argued, timely, sobering wake-up call for those who believe science is always objective and apolitical. Highly recommended for academic researchers, journalists, and general science readers alike.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

“[A] brilliant critique of ‘race science’ . . . this is an important and, in an era of rising racial tensions, must-read book, especially for those most sure they do not need to read it.”
Publishers Weekly

Superior: The Return of Race Science makes the compelling case that scientific racism is as prevalent as it has ever been, and explores the way such backward beliefs have continued to evolve and persist. And it couldn’t be more timely.”
Bitch

“A rigorously researched and reported journey from the Enlightenment through nineteenth-century imperialism and twentieth-century eugenics to the stealthy revival of race science in the twenty-first century.”
Financial Times

“In Superior, Saini expertly chronicles the broader social forces that have reinvigorated race science . . . . For such a weighty topic, Superior is a surprisingly easy-to-read blend of science reporting, cultural criticism, and personal reflection.”
Slate

“Whether you think of racist science as bad science, evil science, alt-right science, or pseudoscience, why would any contemporary scientist imagine that gross inequality is a fact of nature, rather than of political history? Angela Saini’s Superior connects the dots, laying bare the history, continuity, and connections of modern racist science, some more subtle than you might think. This is science journalism at its very best!”
—Jonathan Marks, author of Tales of the Ex-Apes: How We Think About Human Evolution

“Angela Saini’s investigative and narrative talents shine in Superior, her compelling look at racial biases in science past and present. The result is both a crystal-clear understanding of why race science is so flawed, and why science itself is so vulnerable to such deeply troubling fault lines in its approach to the world around us—and to ourselves.”
—Deborah Blum, author of The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

“Some writers have tackled the sordid history of race science previously, but none have gone so deep under the skin of the subject as Angela Saini in Superior. In her deceptively relaxed writing style, Saini patiently leads readers through the intellectual minefields of ‘scientific’ racism. She plainly exposes the conscious and unconscious biases that have led even some of our most illustrious scientists astray.”
—Michael Balter, author of The Goddess and the Bull

“In this essential book, Angela Saini deftly shows how science and racism have long been intertwined, why that pernicious history continues to this day, and why ‘race science’ is so deeply flawed. Deeply researched, masterfully written, and sorely needed, Superior is an exceptional work by one of the world’s best science writers.”
—Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

“Angela Saini’s Superior: The Return of Race Science is nothing short of a remarkable, brilliant, and erudite exploration of what we believe about the racialized differences among our human bodies. Saini takes readers on a walking tour through science, art, history, geography, nostalgia and personal revelation in order to unpack many of the most urgent debates about human origins, and about the origin myths of racial hierarchies. This beautifully written book will change the way you see the world.”
—Jonathan Metzl, author of Dying of Whiteness

About the Author

Angela Saini is an award-winning science journalist whose print and broadcast work has appeared on the BBC and in the Guardian, New Scientist, Wired, the Economist, and Science. A former Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, she won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Kavli Science Journalism gold award in 2015. Saini has a master’s in engineering from Oxford University, and she is the author of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story and Geek Nation: How Indian Science Is Taking Over the World.

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
117 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2019
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Top international reviews

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4.0 out of 5 stars The ‘science’ of a slippery idea
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 12, 2019
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grum-mum
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 17, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and compelling
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2019
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Leon
4.0 out of 5 stars Great synopsis
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2020
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Nicholas Sale
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly researched and a joy to read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2020
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A. D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for reinforcing belief in oneness of humanity.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2019
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mrme
4.0 out of 5 stars Allwhite
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2019
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Clara
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, this should be required reading for everyone
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 26, 2020
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A. Ahmad
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2019
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lyd
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an important book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2019
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David
4.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2019
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DominicJC
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2019
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Tomdww
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2019
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