Daniel J. Fairbanks
What does science say about race? In this book a distinguished research geneticist presents abundant evidence showing that traditional notions about distinct racial differences have little scientific foundation. In short, racism is not just morally wrong; it has no basis in fact.
The author lucidly describes in detail the factors that have led to the current scientific consensus about race. Both geneticists and anthropologists now generally agree that the human species originated in sub-Saharan Africa and darkly pigmented skin was the ancestral state of humanity. Moreover, worldwide human diversity is so complex that discrete races cannot be genetically defined. And for individuals, ancestry is more scientifically meaningful than race.
Separate chapters are devoted to controversial topics: skin color and the scientific reasons for the differences; why ancestry is more important to individual health than race; intelligence and human diversity; and evolutionary perspectives on the persistence of racism.
This is an enlightening book that goes a long way toward dispelling the irrational notions at the heart of racism.
by Dennis F. Poindexter
One of the modern characteristics of war is its inability to lead to a lasting conclusion that favors the winner. If we even thought about it at all, we must have wondered why. Victory is an illusion, partly created by leaders who understand war, and partly by militaries left out of it. We still kill people who are the youngest and strongest of our nations, but we aren’t at war when we do it. These days, war is not a battle of artillery as much it is a battle of wills. We are hardly ever at war. War is a matter of winning the will of the protagonists, even if they don’t know they are involved. Every country fights wars without the consent of their citizens, often without their participation, but these wars are different, because they are fought without their knowledge. In the old wars, soldiers donned uniforms; horses or tanks moved out in columns; airstrikes left visible marks on towns and villages. The new wars have little to see. One day we will wake to the war we missed, and it will be too late to do much about it. It will already be over.
In political speech, Thomas Jefferson is the eternal flame. No other member of the founding generation has served the agendas of both Left and Right with greater vigor. When Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the iconic Jefferson Memorial on the founder’s two hundredth birthday, in 1943, he declared the triumph of liberal humanism. Harry Truman claimed Jefferson as his favorite president, too. And yet Ronald Reagan was as great a Jefferson admirer as any Democrat. He had a go-to file of Jefferson’s sayings and enshrined him as a small-government conservative.
So, who owns Jefferson–the Left or the Right? The unknowable yet irresistible third president has had a tortuous afterlife, and he remains a fixture in today’s culture wars. Pained by Jefferson’s slaveholding, Democrats still regard him highly. Until recently he was widely considered by many African Americans to be an early abolitionist. Libertarians adore him for his inflexible individualism, and although he formulated the doctrine of separation of church and state, Christian activists have found intense religiosity between the lines in his pronouncements.
The renowned Jefferson scholar Andrew Burstein lays out the case for both “Democrat” and “Republican” Jefferson as he interrogates history’s greatest shape-shifter, the founder who has inspired perhaps the strongest popular emotions. In this timely and powerful book, Burstein shares telling insights, as well as some inconvenient truths, about politicized Americans and their misappropriations of the past, including the concoction of a “Jeffersonian” stance on issues that Jefferson himself could never have imagined.
Here is one book that is more about “us” than it is about Jefferson. It explains how the founding generation’s most controversial partisan became essential to America’s quest for moral security―how he became, in short, democracy’s muse.
Celebrate National Library Week!
Mild-mannered scholar Flynn Carson, chosen to recover and protect priceless historical artifacts from around the world, must travel to the mysterious bayous of New Orleans to find the ancient Judas Chalice: a silver cup rumored to have the powers to bring Prince Vlad Dracula of Romania back to life.