By Bruce R. Dain
The highbrow heritage of race, probably the most pernicious and enduring principles in American historical past, has remained segregated into stories of black or white traditions. Bruce Dain breaks this separatist development with an built-in account of the emergence of contemporary racial realization within the usa from the Revolution to the Civil battle. A Hideous Monster of the Mind finds that principles on race crossed racial obstacles in a procedure that produced not just recognized theories of organic racism but in addition countertheories that have been early expressions of cultural relativism, cultural pluralism, and latter-day Afrocentrism.
From 1800 to 1830 particularly, race took on a brand new truth as americans, black and white, reacted to postrevolutionary disillusionment, the occasions of the Haitian Revolution, the increase of cotton tradition, and the entrenchment of slavery. Dain examines not just significant white figures like Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Stanhope Smith, but additionally the 1st self-consciously "black" African-American writers. those a variety of thinkers reworked late-eighteenth-century eu environmentalist "natural historical past" into race theories that mixed tradition and biology and set the phrases for later controversies over slavery and abolition. In these debates, the ethnology of Samuel George Morton and Josiah Nott intertwined conceptually with very important writing via black authors who've been mostly forgotten, like Hosea Easton and James McCune Smith. medical racism and the assumption of races as cultural buildings have been hence interrelated features of an analogous attempt to give an explanation for human differences.
In retrieving missed African-American thinkers, reestablishing the eu highbrow historical past to American racial idea, and demonstrating the deep confusion "race" prompted for thinkers black and white, A Hideous Monster of the Mind deals an attractive and enlightening new viewpoint on sleek American racial thought.
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Additional info for A HIDEOUS MONSTER OF THE MIND: American Race Theory in the Early Republic
A HIDEOUS MONSTER OF THE MIND: American Race Theory in the Early Republic by Bruce R. Dain