Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

A Texas A&M Press we would like particularly to thank our editor Mary Lenn Dixon for her enthusiastic support and our copyeditor Mia Scroggs for smoothing out the text. Without the initial encouragement of Ben Roberts, the book would never have been started. Thanks are due also to Jon Marks, Bob Martin, and John Relethford, and to several anonymous reviewers, all of whom...

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Prologue

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pp. xi-xv

Race. There's probably no more emotive word in the language. The notion it conveys has underwritten some of the worst atrocities ever committed by one people on another, as has recently been happening in Sudan’s Darfur province, where...

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Chapter 1. Race in Western Scientific History

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pp. 1-56

As a cultural, historical, and political phenomenon, race still permeates modern society in a way that nothing else does. The issues it raises are complex, and, to make the situation more difficult, they are deeply embedded in the often opaque human psyche...

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Chapter 2. Species, Patterns, and Evolution

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pp. 57-100

In February of 2010, the beautiful southern U.S. city of Atlanta, Georgia, was besieged by a billboard campaign that claimed that black children were becoming “an endangered species.” Antiabortion proponents sponsored the installation of over seventy-five of these...

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Chapter 3. Human Evolution and Dispersal

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pp. 101-143

The roots of the human family go back some seven million years, or maybe a bit more. The order Primates to which we belong is first documented around the time the dinosaurs became extinct, some sixty-five million years ago, though early representatives might already have been around for some time. The first known mammal relative lived back in the Carboniferous, well over three ...

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Chapter 4. Is "Race" a Biological Problem?

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pp. 144-157

Human beings vary. That is no surprise. Everyone knows that some people are better poker players than others, that pearl divers can hold their breath longer than bus drivers can, and that some landlubbers can shimmy up coconut trees without any apparent effort, leaving the rest of us scratching our heads at the bottom and wondering how they do it. Over the years the many ...

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Chapter 5. Race in Ancestry, Forensics, and Disease

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pp. 158-195

We have already covered a lot of ground discussing genes as they relate to human origins and diversity in various contexts. But we haven’t finished yet, for race and genes have also figured widely in recent discussions of medicine, individual ancestry, and forensics, three areas that we’ve so far only touched in passing, yet are the focus of enormous popular ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 196-199

As this book nears its finish, we’d like to draw the reader’s attention to an interesting fact that we feel is important to bear in mind when we think about how we, as a species, view our own biology, and why we have probably had much more than enough already of “race” as a biological concept...

For Further Reading

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pp. 201-215

Index

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pp. 217-226