The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race: A Political History of Racial Identity

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NYU Press, Jul 1, 2008 - Political Science - 352 pages

The term “Caucasian” is a curious invention of the modern age. Originating in 1795, the word identifies both the peoples of the Caucasus Mountains region as well as those thought to be “Caucasian”. Bruce Baum explores the history of the term and the category of the “Caucasian race” more broadly in the light of the changing politics of racial theory and notions of racial identity. With a comprehensive sweep that encompasses the understanding of "race" even before the use of the term “Caucasian,” Baum traces the major trends in scientific and intellectual understandings of “race” from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Baum’s conclusions make an unprecedented attempt to separate modern science and politics from a long history of racial classification. He offers significant insights into our understanding of race and how the “Caucasian race” has been authoritatively invented, embraced, displaced, and recovered throughout our history.


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Antecedents of European Racialism ca 10001684
2 Enlightenment Science and the Invention of the Caucasian Race 1684 1795
The Caucasian Race ca 17951850
4 Racialized Nationalism and the Partial Eclipse of the Caucasian Race ca 1840 1935
5 The Color Line and the Caucasian Race Revival 1935 51
The Caucasian Race after Decolonization 19522005
Race Nation and the Chechen Wars
Deconstructing Caucasia Dismantling Racism
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Page 1 - To conclude, the light of human minds is perspicuous words, but by exact definitions first snuffed and purged from ambiguity; 'reason' is the 'pace,' increase of 'science ' the 'way,' and the benefit of mankind the 'end.

About the author (2008)

Bruce Baum is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Rereading Power and Freedom in J. S. Mill.

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