By Bruce R. Dain

The highbrow background of race, essentially the most pernicious and enduring rules in American heritage, has remained segregated into stories of black or white traditions. Bruce Dain breaks this separatist trend with an built-in account of the emergence of recent racial cognizance within the usa from the Revolution to the Civil warfare. A Hideous Monster of the Mind unearths that rules on race crossed racial limitations 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 numerous thinkers reworked late-eighteenth-century ecu environmentalist "natural heritage" 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 vital writing by means of black authors who've been mostly forgotten, like Hosea Easton and James McCune Smith. medical racism and the belief of races as cultural structures have been therefore interrelated facets of a similar attempt to provide an explanation for human differences.

In retrieving missed African-American thinkers, reestablishing the ecu highbrow historical past to American racial thought, and demonstrating the deep confusion "race" prompted for thinkers black and white, A Hideous Monster of the Mind deals a fascinating and enlightening new point of view on sleek American racial thought.

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A HIDEOUS MONSTER OF THE MIND: American Race Theory in the Early Republic by Bruce R. Dain

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