The Ethnology of Europe

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J. Van Voorst, 1852 - Ethnology - 256 pages
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The demise of academic ethnology is almost as great an enigma as the survival of the criteria that doomed it to extinction. Dependent on the resources of geography, history, and linguistics (but not anthropology, which scarcely existed during its golden age), it caps their findings even more than such disciplines as economics, political science, sociology, and psychology do theirs. One of ethnology's greatest values, is how it demonstrates where the "feeding" disciplines must focus their research. For this reason alone, its demise is to be greatly lamented.
I confess that I had never read or heard of Robert Gordon Latham until I began to read his works on line. I was familiar with the saints and demons of ethnology -- e.g., Boas vs. HS Chamberlain and the Lost Tribes weirdos -- but without living voices in academia, I was in free-fall.
Latham's mastery of so many disciplines, or at least his amazing ability to criticize their findings, is awesome. His style is fluent and enjoyable, and his findings and clarifications are amazing. His whole approach, objectivity, and clarity are models for the academic. He is the Tesler of the Social Sciences. If his works were in Hitler's library early enough, the world might be far different today.
Certainly if Google Books had been available!
Consider this concluding deduction:
"The conditions which are least favourable (sic) for a prominent place in the world's history are the best for the preservation of old characters. The purest populations in Europe are the Basques, the Lappes (sic), the Poles, and the Frisians; yet who can predicate any important character common to them all?
"To attribute national aptitudes and inaptitudes (sic) or national predilections and antipathies to the unknown influences of blood, as long as the patent facts of history and external circumstances remain unexhausted (sic), is to cut the Gordian Knot rather than to unite it. That there is something in pedigree is probable; but, in the mind of the analytical (sic) ethnologist, this something is much nearer to nothing than to everything."

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Page 260 - The Powers of the Creator Displayed in the Creation ; or, Observations on Life amidst the various forms of the Humbler Tribes of Animated Nature ; with Practical Comments and Illustrations. By Sir JOHN GRAHAM DALYELL, Knt.
Page 264 - A MANUAL OF GOTHIC MOLDINGS. A Practical Treatise on their Formation, Gradual Development, Combinations, and Varieties ; with full Directions for copying them, and for determining their Dates.
Page 259 - NATURAL HISTORY OF THE BRITISH ISLES. This Series of Works is Illustrated by many Hundred Engravings; every Species has been Drawn and Engraved under the immediate inspection of the Authors; the best Artists have been employed, and no care or expense has been spared. Each Work of the Series is sold separately as enumerated below.
Page 262 - Anatomical Manipulation ; or, The Methods of pursuing Practical Investigations in Comparative Anatomy and Physiology. Also an Introduction to the Use of the Microscope, &c. By ALFRED TULK, MRCS, MES ; and ARTHUR HENFREY, FLS, M.Micr.S.
Page 258 - Handbook of the English Language. For the use of Students of the Universities and the Higher Classes in Schools. By RG Latham, MA MD &c.
Page 262 - Manual of the British Marine Algae, containing Generic and Specific Descriptions of all the known British Species of SeaWeeds, with Plates to illustrate all the Genera. By...
Page 262 - RARE AND REMARKABLE ANIMALS OF SCOTLAND, Represented from Living Subjects: with Practical Observations on their Nature.
Page 259 - ... are great and signal — but because it is popularly written throughout, and therefore likely to excite general attention to a subject which ought to be held as one of primary importance. Every one is interested about fishes — the political economist, the epicure, the merchant, the man of science, the angler, the poor, the rich. We hail the appearance of this book as the dawn of a new era in the Natural History of England.
Page 263 - AN INTRODUCTION TO CONCHOLOGY ; or, Elements of the Natural History of Molluscous Animals. By GEORGE JOHNSTON, MD, LL.D., Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh ; Author of " A History of the British Zoophytes.
Page 260 - A Geological Inquiry respecting; the Water-bearing Strata of the country around London, with reference especially to the Water Supply of the Metropolis; and including some Remarks on Springs.

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