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Since I play a starring role as a Bad Guy in Angela Saini’s new book Superior: The Return of Race Science, I’m interested in reaction to it. Besides my review in Taki’s Magazine, here are more book reviews:


From The Financial Times:

Superior by Angela Saini — are we all created equal?
Race science is undergoing a revival, after its horrific climax in the 20th century

Clive Cookson MAY 29, 2019

… As Angela Saini writes in Superior, her brilliant analysis of race science past and present, the acceptance of Neanderthals as “people like us” is a recent example of a centuries-old European attitude — “casting humanity in our own image”.

… Recent research into human diversity and mobility demolishes any scientific validity claimed by the old concept of “race”. DNA analysis of live people and ancient bones shows that, ever since Homo sapiens evolved hundreds of thousands of years ago, we have migrated — and exchanged genes — more actively than previous generations of anthropologists would have imagined possible.

Human identity has been smeared out geographically, making it hard to tell where someone came from by testing his or her DNA, even though consumer-oriented companies have made a fortune selling kits that purport to tell ancestral origins from genes. An African with dark skin and characteristic facial shape may look different to a European but few biological features are unambiguous identifiers of African origin.

From The Guardian:

Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini – review
This timely book looks at the toxic origins of racism, which science continues to embrace

Alok Jha

Mon 27 May 2019 06.00 EDT

This is an urgent, important book. It contains a warning: you thought racism might be on its way out of science? That the arc of society, bending towards more progressive, tolerant values, had long banished the scientific search for ways in which one grouping of people is inherently more talented, clever or physically able than another? You thought wrong.

From Slate:

Why Do So Many Researchers Still Treat Race as a Scientific Concept?

Angela Saini’s new book makes a compelling argument about how even scientists with good intentions end up perpetuating misleading ideas about race.

MAY 30, 2019

From Smithsonian:

The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism

A new book explores how racist biases continue to maintain a foothold in research today

By Ramin Skibba
MAY 20, 2019

The post-war era saw scientists on the right-wing fringe find ways to cloak their racist views in more palatable language and concepts. And as Angela Saini convincingly argues in her new book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, published May 21 by Beacon Press, the “problem of the color line” still survives today in 21st-century science.

In her thoroughly researched book, Saini, a London-based science journalist, provides clear explanations of racist concepts while diving into the history of race science, from archaeology and anthropology to biology and genetics. Her work involved poring through technical papers, reports and books, and interviewing numerous scientists across various fields, sometimes asking uncomfortable questions about their research.

“Mainstream scientists, geneticists and medical researchers still invoke race and use these categories in their work, even though we have been told for 70 years that they have no biological meaning, that they have only social meaning,” Saini says.


From The Times of London:

Superior by Angela Saini review — is racist cod science really on the rise?

Science may have a chequered past — but it’s not racist to study differences between population groups, says Tom Chivers

Tom Chivers
May 24 2019, 12:00pm,

On one level, Angela Saini’s Superior is a very good book: informative and chilling.


From the Unz Review:

Superior Ideology
JAMES THOMPSON • JUNE 4, 2019 • 3,500 WORDS • 103 COMMENTS •

Superior: the return of race science. Angela Saini. 4th Estate. London. 2019.

Excitedly promoted in national newspapers, glowingly reviewed in Sunday magazines, the author interviewed on national radio, this book is part of a mainstream narrative which promotes the ascendant public stance, which is that race does not exist as a useful category, and that those who perversely study it have reprehensible motives.

Saini dedicates the book to her parents “the only ancestors I need to know”. This is touching, though a bit hard on her grandparents. The Prologue (page 3) explains her stance: “The key to understanding the meaning of race is understanding power. When you see how power has shaped the idea of race, and continues to shape it, how it affects even the scientific facts, everything finally begins to make sense”.

As Lenin said in 1921: “The whole question is—who will overtake whom?”

From Quillette:

Superior: The Return of Race Science—A Review

written by Bo Winegard and Noah Carl
Published on June 5, 2019 comments 161

A review of Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini, Beacon Press, 256 pages (May, 2019)

The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation, and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct…
~Charles Darwin, 1871, The Descent of Man

Angela Saini’s new book, Superior, is a cautionary tale about the historical legacy, and putative return, of what she calls “race science.” As far as we can determine, there are four main theses running through the book:

– ‘Race’ is not a meaningful biological category
-Genes can only contribute to population differences on certain “superficial” traits
-Studying whether genes might contribute to population differences on non-superficial traits is tantamount to “scientific racism”
-Almost everyone interested in whether genes might contribute to population differences on these other traits is a “scientific racist”

To be blunt, we disagree with all four of Saini’s main theses, as we shall explain in this article. (Note that since the book is quite poorly structured, and in some places contradictory, it is not always easy to discern what Saini is or is not asserting. Nonetheless, we believe that the four propositions above comprise a fair summary of her main arguments.)

And my review in Taki’s Magazine:

Arguing Against Reality
by Steve Sailer

June 05, 2019

… Saini gets her story about me so wrong that’s it’s hard to have much confidence in the rest of her book.

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