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Race is not a biological reality.
Racism thrives on our not knowing this.
Racist pseudoscience is on the rise—fueling hatred, feeding nationalism, and seeping into our discourse on everything from sports to intelligence. Even the well-intentioned repeat stereotypes based on “science,” because cutting-edge genetics are hard to grasp—and all too easy to distort. Paradoxically, misconceptions are multiplying amid today’s unprecedented surge of research on human genetics. We’ve never had a clearer picture of who we are and where we come from, and the science, when accurately understood, is a powerful and definitive ally against racism. But not nearly enough of these findings have made their way into the casual conversations we have about race.
This penetrating guide shows us how being a responsible and enlightened citizen on the matter of race today requires us to know what modern genetics actually can and can’t tell us about human difference. Racial categories still vexing our societies do not align with observable genetic differences—and those differences are, in fact, so minute that they serve as evidence of our commonality.
“A fascinating and timely refutation of the casual racism on the rise around the world. The ultimate anti-racism guide.”—Caroline Criado-Perez, author of Invisible Women
“As timely as it is invigorating and important.”—Peter Frankopan, Oxford professor of global history
“Timely and accessible.”—The Bookseller, Editor’s Choice
“This fascinating, illuminating, and original book on human evolution and development is essential reading in an age of false science, resurgent racism, and conspiracy theory—and the perfect antidote to racial bigotry.”—Simon Sebag Montefiore, historian and author of The Romanovs
“Lucid, enlightening, witty, and delightful.”—Kate Fox, codirector of the Social Issues Research Centre
“Adam Rutherford is the perfect writer to arm you with evidence.”—Claudia Hammond, author of Time Warped