Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century

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New Press, 2011 - Social Science - 388 pages
2 Reviews
A decade after the Human Genome Project proved that human beings are not naturally divided by race, the emerging fields of personalized medicine, reproductive technologies, genetic genealogy, and DNA databanks are attempting to resuscitate race as a biological category written in our genes. In this provocative analysis, leading legal scholar and social critic Dorothy Roberts argues that America is once again at the brink of a virulent outbreak of classifying population by race. By searching for differences at the molecular level, a new race-based science is obscuring racism in our society and legitimizing state brutality against communities of color at a time when America claims to be post-racial.

Moving from an account of the evolution of race--proving that it has always been a mutable and socially defined political division supported by mainstream science--Roberts delves deep into the current debates, interrogating the newest science and biotechnology, interviewing its researchers, and exposing the political consequences obscured by the focus on genetic difference. Fatal Invention is a provocative call for us to affirm our common humanity.

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User Review  - reluctantm - LibraryThing

While I agree with many of the arguments presented in this book, I don't feel they are presented as clearly or persuasively as necessary. Definitely as the book progresses, the arguments become clearer, but I found the first section hard to follow with parts unclear. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Dorothy Roberts is the fourteenth Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights. She is the author of the award-winning Killing the Black Body and Shattered Bonds and is the co-editor of six books on gender and constitutional law. She serves as chair of the board of directors of the Black Women's Health Imperative.

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