Skin Deep: Journeys in the Divisive Science of Race

Oneworld Pubs. Aug. 2019. 400p. notes. index. ISBN 9781786076229. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781786076236. SOC SCI
Focusing mostly on major controversies, this debut by Evans covers the study of race among 20th-century scientists, especially in regards to intelligence. The book addresses prominent subjects such as Charles Darwin, the Bell Curve, and IQ tests, as well as publications and incidents not widely known beyond the academic community. Often, the author dissects the unethical methodologies used by some race scientists. Much of the historical material is already covered by Stephen Jay Gould in The Mismeasure of Man, and readers familiar with that text will find a great deal of overlap. Evans includes some contemporary analysis of racial science in the present, particularly pertaining to the alt-right and the election of Donald Trump. However, more attention to the impact of race science on society, rather than a critical analysis of its methods, would do more to set this entry apart from Gould’s previous work.
VERDICT An easy read for casual audiences. Those without much prior knowledge of the development of racial science and where it stands today will find this to be a thorough historical introduction.

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