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The retreat of scientific racism Changing concepts of race in britain and the United States between the world wars. Elazar Barkan. New York Cambridge University Press. 1992. xiii + 381 pp. ISBN 0-521-39193-8. $49.50 (cloth)

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502
BOOK REVIEWS
craniofacial growth, this facet of the analysis was underemphasized. For instance, in
some cases the amount of variation in a certain dimension a t a given age class is quite
substantial; in other cases it is quite minimal. What might this mean? Perhaps the
only case where this issue is addressed to a
significant extent concerns the variability of
occlusal growth, which Schneiderman suggests (quite correctly) is probably compensatory in nature and likely corresponds to primary changes in the temporomandibular
joint and mandible. This focuses attention
on a related issue purportedly addressedage estimation. As noted previously, in some
cases chronological age could not be well estimated based on the highly variable growth
of certain craniofacial structures. On the
other hand, discussion regarding the age
classes where chronological age is estimated
(by several variables) with a higher degree
of accuracy could have been expanded a bit
more.
A more fundamental criticism of this book
is that I wonder whether the presentation of
Schneiderman’s dissertation might have
been rendered with equal or greater success
in one or two journal papers. Although adequate data and methods are utilized, this
study is simply not broad enough to warrant
publication a s a book. For instance, the im-
portance of the results vis-a-vis the craniofacia1 growth literature are not highlighted to
the extent expected in a book, and therefore
the reader is left essentially with a descriptive and quantitative study of craniofacial
growth in rhesus macaques. That is, since
less data are available for females (or for
other species), little information about sexual dimorphism in growth is indicated.
Moreover, perhaps due to personal predispositions, I do not think that it is adequate to
describe craniofacial growth without placing
the results in some kind of broader clinical
and/or evolutionary context. Occasionally
this occurs; however, because the focus of
the study is limited in scope, the discussion
and conclusions are as well.
My overall opinion of this book is that it is
a n additional and informative source regarding craniofacial growth in rhesus
macaques. Schneiderman’s analyses are especially important for those researching the
clinical significance of changes in facial
growth and form, both from a descriptive
and methodological standpoint.
MATTHEWJ. RAVOSA
Department of Biological Anthropology
and Anatomy
Duke University Medical Center
Durham. North Carolina
THERETREAT
OF SCIENTIFIC
RACISM:
CHANGING The book deals with attitudes towards
CONCEPTS
OF RACE
IN BRITAIN
AND THE UNITED whatever anybody chose to call race in the
STATES
BETWEEN
THE WORLD
WARS.Elazar English-speaking world in the early part of
Barkan. New York: Cambridge University the 20th century. What anybody chooses to
Press. 1992. xiii + 381 pp. ISBN 0-521- call race covers a lot of ground, the only constant feature being that a group has, o r is
39193-8. $49.50 (cloth).
believed to have, some kind of genetic contiIt is unlikely that physical anthropolo- nuity over time, and separation from other
gists will find this book of much interest. groups similarly defined. (Note that this is
The author describes it in the foreword as a the present reviewer’s attempt to define Dr.
study in the “sociology of knowledge.” This Barkan’s use of the word: the author himself
aptly defines it as being concerned with ex- does not analyze it.) The identifying marks
actly those aspects of opinion and belief of such a group may include both genetic
which are not related to any external reality traits and traditional culture, their isolating
such a s science endeavors to deal with. Ref- factors may be geography, language, or relierences to factual data are few and often gion, and in the layman’s mind all these
things are vaguely interrelated, with a n imenigmatic.
BOOK REVIEWS
503
plication of some kind of mutual causality.
Considering that the idea of racism involves
any and all kinds of differential opinion and
behavior based on such loosely defined
groups, it is clear that a whole book may be
written without touching on anything concrete that is of interest to the physical anthropologist. It sometimes seems to be essentially a political tract, with overtones of a
theologian’s fulminations against heresy.
At the beginning of the period which Dr.
Barkan considers, racism was (though the
phrase had vet to be coined) “politicallv correct.” It was the rationalization of racial segregation in the U.S. and of colonialism in the
British empire. It was taken for granted by
the general public and made political by various people who found that they could attract favorable public notice by approving
and promoting it. The eugenics movement,
though in principle based on individual heredity, became assimilated to political racism also. At the same time, those anthropologists who were drifting towards being what
we now call physical or biological anthropologists were going through a difficult period.
Mendelian genetics and statistical definitions of human variation were both being
introduced to what had previously been a
purely descriptive discipline. Both of these
methodologies were hard to assimilate, and,
to make matters worse, appeared a t first
sight to be contradictory to each other. (Ales
HrdliEka, the founder of American physical
anthropology, simply chose to go down with
the ship a t this point.)
In this period of confusion, some of the
biologistlanthropologistlgeneticists got into
a n ill-fated alliance with political racists.
Dr. Barkan relates rather gleefully the social and family backgrounds of these scientists, in a way which I suppose is natural to
one whose avowed interest is sociological. To
the present reviewer this seems a s inappropriate as it would be to delve into Dr. Barkan’s background as a way of evaluating the
accuracv of his historical account. The overall impression given is that of science-bashing on the part of one who has never himself
attempted to extract general principles from
the complex phenomena which stubbornly
exist in the real world.
Perhaps the value of this account to the
physical anthropologist, o r any other scientist who gets into fields that are politically
sensitive, is a s a warning. Do not get involved with people who have a political
agenda, no matter how generally it is accepted a t the time. Particularly do not give
them opinions they seem to like unless you
have some solid data. Some day you may be
blamed for all their faults.
BOOKS RECEIVED
Inevitable Bond: Examining Scientist-Animal Interactions. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 399 pp. $75.
Desmond A, and J Moore (1992) Darwin:
The Life of a Tortured Evolutionist. New
York: Warner Books, 808 pp. $35.
Farmer P (1992) AlDS and Accusation:
Haiti and the Geography of Blame. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,
352 pp. $35 (cloth).
Gould SJ (1992 [1979]) Ever Since Darwin.
New York: W.W. Norton, 285 pp. $9.95.
Gould SJ (1992 [1980]) The Panda’s Thumb.
Clark G (1989) Economic Prehistory. New
York: Cambridge University Press, 638
pp. $105.
Cronin H (1991) The And and the Peacock.
New York: Cambridge University Press,
xiv + 490 pp. $39.50.
D’Andrade R, and C Strauss (eds.) (1992)
Human Motives and Cultural Models.
New York: Cambridge University Press,
238 pp. $49.95 (cloth); $16.95 (paper).
Davis H, and D Balfour (eds.) (1992) The
ALICEM. BRUES
Department of Anthropology
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
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1992, university, state, isbn, new, race, united, racism, cambridge, concept, pres, britain, cloth, scientific, 381, xiii, world, wars, york, 521, barkana, 39193, elazar, changing, retreat
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