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A troublesome inheritance : genes, race and human history / Nicholas Wade.

  • Wade, Nicholas
  • Books

About this work


Drawing on startling new evidence from the mapping of the genome, an explosive new account of the genetic basis of race and its role in the human story.

Few ideas have been more harmful than one race or another being inherently superior to others. For this understandable reason, discussion of biological differences between races has been virtually banished from polite academic conversation. Human evolution, the consensus view insists, ended in prehistory. Inconveniently, this view cannot be right. Nicholas Wade, the esteemed science journalist who has long reported on new genetic advances for The New York Times, cites the mounting evidence that human evolution has continued to the present day. Because populations stayed in place for thousands of years, substantially isolated, evolution has proceeded independently on each continent, giving rise to the various races of humankind. Here, Wade explores the possibility that recent human evolution has included changes in social behavior and hence in the nature of human societies. Rejecting unequivocally the notion of racial superiority, he argues that the evolution of the human races holds information critical to the understanding of human societies and history, and that the public interest is best served by pursuing the scientific truth without fear.--From publisher description.


New York, New York : The Penguin Press, 2014.

Physical description

278 pages : charts ; 25 cm

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (pages 255-266) and index.


Evolution, race, and history -- Perversions of science -- Origins of human social nature -- The human experiment -- The genetics of race -- Societies and institutions -- The recasting of human nature -- Jewish adaptations -- The rise of the West -- Evolutionary perspectives on race.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

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  • 9781594204463
  • 1594204462