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Biology of the peoples of Indian region. Bangladesh Bhutan India Maldives Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka. A classified and comprehensive bibliography. By M.K. Bhasin. Delhi Kamla-Raj Enterprises. 1988. vii + 496 pp. tables index. Rs

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BOOK REVIEWS
labor and delivery routines have been abandoned in many hospitals (wheelchairs, shaving a n d enemas, separation of the father
from the laboring mother, etc.), a trend
noted by Davis-Floyd, the practical and
symbolic uses of technology are increasing
in newer reproductive medical specialities,
particularly infertility treatment and prenatal monitoring (and treatment) of fetuses.
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
is a relatively recent subject of anthropological inquiry. Lucile Newman summarizes
her research into the social and sensory
environments of low-birthweight babies in
the section devoted to cultural dimensions of
the hospital treatment .of critically ill newborns. Jeanne Harley Guillemin, using the
case study method, examines how NICU
staff evaluate and treat parents of the
infants in their charge. She also comments
on disjunctions in neonatologists’ and parents’ concerns. Neonatologists judge success on short-term outcomes and restrict
what they say to parents about the longerterm risks their sick infants face, partly
451
because too little is known about how well
NICU survivors do in later life to make such
statements with confidence and partly because neonatologists’ values and rewards
emphasize saving critically ill infants from
immediate crises.
Collectively, the chapters in Childbirth in
America lay out a representative sketch of
research, problems of interest to sociocultural anthropologists and other social scientists working in the area of reproductive
health. A distinct accomplishment is the
acknowledgement in some of the chapters
that not all American women want the same
kind of childbirth care or have the same
values and attitudes about pregnancy, birth,
and parenting, and that this variation needs
addressing in both childbirth policy and
practice.
MCCLAIN
CAROLSHEPHERD
Medical Anthropology Program
University o f California, S a n Francisco
S a n Francisco, California
BIOLOGY
OFTHE PEOPLES OF INDIAN REGION. Journals a n d Abbreviations used; BibliMALDIVES, ography; and the Appendix.
BANGLADESH,
BHUTAN,INDIA,
NEPAL,PAKISTAN,
SRILANKA.A CLASSI- The brief introduction basically elaborates
FIED AND COMPREHENSIVE
BIBLIOGRAPHY.the organization of the main text “categoBy M.K. Bhasin. Delhi: Kamla-Raj Enter- rized under the following heads” (p. 1):
prises. 1988. vii 496 pp., tables, index. Primates-Behaviour and Biology; Demography, Inbreeding, Marriage Distance; AnRs. 400/-(cloth).
thropometry, Physiology and Nutrition;
Dental Anthropology; Dermatoglyphics;
Anthropological studies in India and their Morphological a n d Behavioral Characpublication are more than 100 years old. The ters; Taste Sensitivity and Colour Blindness;
research papers are widely scattered in Genetic Markers in Human Blood; and Huworld journals, reports, and the proceedings man Population Cytogenetics. Further subvolumes of various conferences, national as headings under most of these are helpful for
well as international in origin. To locate more specific references.
Section 2 on journals and their abbreviathese h a s always been a nightmare; one had
to adopt a “hit in the dark” approach to tions, h a s 366 listings, a large number
stumble on a lead reference and proceed indeed. This includes the proceedings of various societies and academies, reports, and
from there if luck favoured.
The present 496-page volume is a compre- memoirs. It reflects the scattered nature of
hensive bibliography of the published liter- the biological anthropology publications for
ature on biological anthropology relating to the region, and the potential difficulty in
peoples of the Indian region. It covers the locating them.
The bibliography, the main part, is arcountries south of the Himalayas, including
Maldives and Sri Lanka but excluding ranged alphabetically by author and for
Burma. The bibliography covers 371 pages; each author chronologically under each
the two appendices of 72 pages include some heading. It lists about 5,000 entries, a rough
tables and maps and a n exclusive ethno- estimate based on average entries per page.
graphic bibliography on tribes and castes of Anthropometry, Physiology, a n d Nutrition
India. It h a s four sections: Introduction; is spread over 104 pages; Dermatoglyphics
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452
BOOK REVIEWS
is covered in 47 pages, and Genetic Markers
in Human Blood takes 30 pages. Others are
less expensive. The least-represented areas
of study are Dental Anthropology and
Human Population Cytogenetics; between
these two, the cytogenetics portion is the
weakest. A closer scrutiny and comparison
of these reflects the influence of historicalcum-financial factors influencing the development of biological anthropology in the
region. The appendices a r e aimed to
acquaint the reader with “geographic, social,
political and cultural aspects o f ’ India
because the major emphasis of investigation is on that country and “the representation of references from other countries is
almost negligible” (p. 391). The book provides brief information on India’s population demography, principal languages, natural regions, administrative divisions, some
specific ethnographic bibliography on castes
and tribes, and a list of institutions relating
to anthropological studies and the journals
published. The relationship between anthropology and the Indian Science Congress
since 1914 is presented in a tabular form; its
relevance is incomprehensible. The 34-page
Author Index marks the end of the book.
The author h a s done a n incredible job in
searching and compiling the published titles
in a meaningful sequence. This is a positive
contribution and the volume would certainly
prove to be immensely helpful to all interested researchers of the Indian region. It is a
commendable effort.
The title of the book is rather ambitious; it
raises many hopes that were not realized
completely. Under the title, one also wonders if the author considers primates (their
behaviour and biology) as “peoples” and
studies on Gigantopithecus and suture
closure as part of behaviour a n d biology?
This section is totally out of place, though
useful as a separate entity. However, it then
omits completely F.E. Poirier’s work on
Indian monkeys.
The organization of the book, at places, is
rather repetitious for various sections (p. 2),
and it is cumbersome in the appendices,
where the main aim is not achieved. The
expectations are belied, as it provides a cocktail of facts and figures extracted from gazetteers, census volumes, and earlier ethnographic accounts. It neglects a discussion on
social and cultural aspects altogether. To the
reviewer, the purpose of a n appendix is to
provide additional relevant information to
supplement the text, which cannot be incor-
porated lest it distract from the central
theme. The information on India’s boundaries, zones and provinces, rural urban
classification, and ethnic and linguistic
groupings, loosely explained, make it very
uneasy reading. The author h a s missed a n
opportunity to emphasize their relevance to
the benefit of the reader. At places, either
the information on anthropological institutions in different provinces is missed, or
places are mentioned where nothing exists
(pp. 448-450). A separate list of anthropological journals originating in India is a n
exercise in futility because these have been
mentioned in pages 5-19. Furthermore, one
wonders if some of the abbreviations, e.g.,
for Current Anthropology, Eastern Anthropologist, and the Indian Journal O f Physical
Anthropology and Human Genetics, are the
ones recognized by these publications-or
h a s the author created them on his own?
The latest issues of these journals do not use
the suggested abbreviations. A clarification
would have been helpful.
The difficulties in publishing such material
are obvious in some printing errors like
Bahadhur (p. 115) for Bahadur and epiphysical (p. 112) for epiphyseal. In spite of his best
efforts the author has missed some old and
some fairly recent publications of various
authors, e.g., P.C. Mahalanobis (1928) on
standardization of measurements and his
revision of Risley’s data (Mahalanobis, 1933);
H.K. Rakshit, (1965; 1988),on inter- and intraobserver errors; D.N. Majumdar (1955, 1958,
1959) on Rupkund; R.D. Singh (1972,19811on
Rupkund and on caste dermatoglyphics
(Singh, 19821, to name a few. However, the
reviewer does not claim to know all sources.
These few obvious shortcomings, however,
do not diminish the utility of this publication.
The major journals and other titles are available in the National Library, Calcutta.
RIPUDAMAN
SINGH
Sociology and Anthropology
University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
LITERATURE CITED
Mahalanobis PC (1928) On the need for standardization in
measurements on the living. Biometrika 20A:1-31
Mahalanobis PC (1933) A revision of Risley’s anthropometric data relating to the tribes and castes of Bengal.
Sankhya 1(1):76-105.
Majumdar DN (1955) A preliminary report on the human
skeleton remains from Rupkund. The National Herald
(October 9).
BOOK REVIEWS
453
Majumdar DN (1958) Rupkund rahasya. Prachya Manava Vaigyanik 3:94-106.
Majumdar DN (1959) Rupkund in prospect and retrospect.
Uttar Pradesh (March) 1-2.
Rakshit HK (1965) Anthropometry and personal error. J.
SOC.Res. 8(2):54-62.
Rakshit HK, Singh RD, Ahmad SH, Sastry DB, Ali SGM,
and Bhale RB (1988) All India Anthropometric Survey:
South Zone. Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India.
Singh RD (1972) Human skeletal remains from Rupkund.
In KS Mathur and SC Verma (eds.): Man in Society.
Lucknow: EFCS, pp. 153-173.
Singh RD (1981) Rupkund: Ek manava-vijnanik drishtikon. Manava 9(2):65-76.
Singh RD (1982) Digital ridge-count variations in some
castes of India. In CS Bartsocas (ed.): Progress in Dermatoglyphic Research. New York Alan R. Liss, Inc., pp.
303-3 15.
MURDEROUSSCIENCE.
By Benno MiillerHill. New York: Oxford University Press.
1988. xvi 208 pp., bibliography, index.
$24.95 (cloth).
ture of German universities. Such historical
and cultural factors still fester in many
areas of the world. Racial stereotyping and
xenophobia are not unknown in the United
States and Japan. Elitism, grant greed, and
political footsieism are not uncommon in
academia.
The author sets out to show that a state in
which science, or at least some scientists,
flourish while justice is absent is condemned. To do this he studied numerous
archives (and noted that many documents
had been deliberately destroyed). But more
importantly, he interviewed the leading scientists’ co-workers and descendents as well
as some aged participants themselves. A
notable number of interviewees refused to
allow publication of their statements. Nevertheless, the author h a s assembled the essential facts about the formation and function
of a broad scientific-political axis. It is a history not just of a few evil men but of wanton
closed-mindedness in science itself. While it
is universally accepted that justice was absent in Nazi Germany, the question remains
as to whether science indeed flourished under
the Nazis, a s the author contends. Certainly
such “leading scientists” as Eugen Fischer
thought so. He and others had urged and
“scientifically” justified the purification of
the German Reich by means of murdering
countless Jews, Slavs, gypsies, mental patients, a n d the intellectually impaired. Thus
in 1943 Fischer, the founding head of the
leading institute for anthropology, human
genetics, and eugenics, wrote of the “rare
and special good fortune for a theoretical
science to flourish at a time when the prevailing ideology welcomes it, and its findings can immediately serve the policy of the
state” (p. 18).
But was this indeed science, let alone
theoretical science? In my opinion, it was not.
At the time, in human genetics and physical
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Miiller-Hill h a s written a n outstanding
book about values and integrity and closed
minds. It is concerned only indirectly with
the Nazi policy of mass murder of “inferior”
peoples. Rather it examines the parallel
aberration of anthropologists, geneticists,
and psychiatrists as proponents of Nazi
racism. This was a unique scientific-medical-political “establishment”-as perverse
a s the world h a s ever seen.
The author, a professor of genetics in
Cologne, was born in 1933, the year Hitler
came to power. His book, first published in
German in 1984, is a n expose of the dishonorable intimacy of science, academia, and
barbarism in Nazi Germany; for unlike
other past and present mass killings, socalled respectable science and scientists
were the witting agents of Nazi genocide.
This book h a s finally made these facts public to a broad audience in Germany, four
decades after the end of World War 11. The
reason why other Germans did not write
this expose much earlier, or were ineffective
in their attempts, becomes apparent upon
reading Muller-Hill’s narrative. As Jorge
Luis Borges said (Theroux, 1979, p. 144),
“The Germans like to be pitied-isn’t that
horrible? They showed me their ruins. . . .
But why should I indulge them? I said, ‘I
have seen London.’ ”
The historical roots of this scientific perversion were taxonomic rigidity, racial stereotyping, the typological mindset. The cultural roots in Germany were xenophobia,
bigotry, belated democratization, military
defeat in WWI, economic disasters in the
1920s, and the peculiar authoritarian struc-
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delhis, classifier, comprehension, lanka, bhasin, 496, bangladesh, 1988, indian, sri, index, regions, bibliography, kamla, vii, bhutan, people, nepal, maldives, tablet, biologya, enterprise, pakistan, raj
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