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Book summary and reviews of Racism, Not Race by Joseph L. Graves Jr., Alan H. Goodman

Racism, Not Race by Joseph L. Graves Jr., Alan H. Goodman

Racism, Not Race

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by Joseph L. Graves Jr., Alan H. Goodman

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  • Published:
  • Dec 2021
    320 pages
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Book Summary

The science on race is clear. Common categories like "Black," "white," and "Asian" do not represent genetic differences among groups. But if race is a pernicious fiction according to natural science, it is all too significant in the day-to-day lives of racialized people across the globe.

Inequities in health, wealth, and an array of other life outcomes cannot be explained without referring to "race"―but their true source is racism. What do we need to know about the pseudoscience of race in order to fight racism and fulfill human potential?

In this book, two distinguished scientists tackle common misconceptions about race, human biology, and racism. Using an accessible question-and-answer format, Joseph L. Graves Jr. and Alan H. Goodman explain the differences between social and biological notions of race. Although there are many meaningful human genetic variations, they do not map onto socially constructed racial categories. Drawing on evidence from both natural and social science, Graves and Goodman dismantle the malignant myth of gene-based racial difference. They demonstrate that the ideology of racism created races and show why the inequalities ascribed to race are in fact caused by racism.

Graves and Goodman provide persuasive and timely answers to key questions about race and racism for a moment when people of all backgrounds are striving for social justice. Racism, Not Race shows readers why antiracist principles are both just and backed by sound science.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A relatable conversation about race that stands out from many other books on the always-relevant topic...[The authors] tackle a wide variety of racial issues using science and statistics, with just enough emotion to keep readers engaged...An entertaining and informative read that will serve as a jumping-off point for countless discussions about racism." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[An] insightful takedown of race as a matter of biology...The authors are most effective when they stick to their area of scientific expertise, and less so when they venture onto the well-worn territory covered by other anti-racist authors on general institutional reforms. Even so, this brings a new angle and an accessible approach to the ongoing reckoning with race in America." - Publishers Weekly

"In this timely and important book, Professors Graves and Goodman provide detailed explanations in response to questions about race and racism. They have also followed the 'Noah principle.' Indeed, it is not enough to simply predict the rain. One must also build arks. And that is what Professors Graves and Goodman have done. They offer concrete steps that can be taken to help to eliminate the scourge of racism, as well as other systems of oppression, that continue to plague our nation." - Johnnetta Betsch Cole, author of Racism in American Public Life: A Call to Action

"A timely tapestry of questions and answers on race and racism! Joseph Graves and Alan Goodman have intricately disentangled and woven together biological race, socially defined race, and racism, providing a strategy for addressing not only the consequences of systemic racism but more importantly, the root cause―the ideology of a hierarchy of human value. Brilliant work!" - Charmaine DM Royal, director of the Duke Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference

"In Racism, Not Race, Graves and Goodman lay out comprehensively and accessibly why notions of race are social constructs that cannot be justified in biological terms. Packed with contemporary and historical references that place race in perspective, this is an authoritative clarification of an issue that is critically important for society but is widely misunderstood despite its ever more pressing ramifications. A valuable resource." - Ian Tattersall, author of Troublesome Science: The Misuse of Genetics and Genomics in Understanding Race

This information about Racism, Not Race was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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More Information

Joseph L. Graves Jr. is a professor in the Department of Biology at North Carolina A&T State University. He is a fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His books include The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium (2001) and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America (2005).

Alan H. Goodman is a professor of biological anthropology at Hampshire College and a former vice president for academic affairs. He is a past president of the American Anthropological Association and codirects its public education project on race. He is a coauthor of Race: Are We So Different? (second edition, 2019), among other books.

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