THE LIVING RACES OF MAN by Carleton S. Coon

THE LIVING RACES OF MAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Three years ago Professor Coon presented his masterly and adventurous anthropological tome, The Origin of Races, which caused a good deal of controversy in certain quarters, since it argued that the Caucasian white developed sapient characteristics about 200,000 years before the Congoid or Negro races. The professor was charged with giving aid and comfort to our red-neck elements. His new work is far less lively, offering no grand themes or orchestrations, but merely a rambling collection of facts, figures, speculations and what not concerning genetic relationships, geographical, cultural, linguistic and economic diversity of parallelism among the ""five cradles of civilization,"" and setting ""the current imbalance and disturbance among the races of man at A.D. 1492."" The whole thing is strictly a specialist item, overflowing with the most scholarly of classifications, including a roster of ailments from malaria to syphilis, a history of colonization, an abstruse investigation of food gathering, toolmaking, caste, weather conditions, dermatoglyphics and so forth. Some of it is quite humorous, at least for this reviewer. ""The average daily amount of air breathed by a human being is about 500 cubic feet."" ""No one can express anguish more convincingly by his facial expression than an Italian."" ""Another oddity of Bushman is monorchy, or the descent of only one testicle, but this also is not universal among Bushman males."" ""This is a long chapter. It had to be, because Africa is a large continent."" To a considerable degree, the book seems a series of footnotes to The Origin of Races, at once both sketchy and indefatigably solemn.

Publisher: Knopf