Death-dealing anti-Semites and chauvinistic Jews have agreed that there exists a distinct Jewish ""race."" Wing, a...

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THE MYTH OF THE JEWISH RACE

Death-dealing anti-Semites and chauvinistic Jews have agreed that there exists a distinct Jewish ""race."" Wing, a geneticist, and Patai, a scholar of Mideastern subjects, suggest that the concept of race is ludicrously unscientific. Beginning with the Hebrews, Jewish interbreeding and its consequences are examined, with the conclusion that in most countries Jews genetically approximate the surrounding population, and, as a corollary, ""looking Jewish"" is chiefly a matter of cultural expression. The authors' extensively reproduced data makes a sturdy challenge to the notion that mental accomplishment has anything to do with inheritance in the genetic sense; the intellectual distinction of many Jews is attributed instead to urbanization, scholarly tradition, etc. The book ends rather flatly with a technical discussion of the distribution of particular diseases (like Tay-Sachs, a fatal disease with special incidence among Jews of Eastern European descent) which ""cannot be used to differentiate Jews in general from non-Jews."" The study as a whole is exceptionally rewarding; adolescents and general readers concerned about identity and inheritance will profit from reading it.

Pub Date: April 1, 1975

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Scribners

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1975