The Meaning of Race

Race, History and Culture in Western Society
Malik, Kenan
Date published: 
July 1996

'Kenan Malik has done the almost impossible: written a clear and dispassionate book about a murky and passionate subject. He shows how the old errors and lies about race, class and genes have been reborn wearing a new disguise. If you believed The Bell Curve, this book will change your mind.' - Professor Steve Jones, author, The Language of The Genes and In the Blood'Illuminating, often provocative, and always stimulating, The Meaning of Race reveals how central race is to our ways of thinking and doing, so central that we do not often recognise it as such.' - Marek Kohn, author of The Race Gallery 'Kenan Malik's exploration of the 'race question' is timely and incisive. Read it and be challenged.' - A. Sivanandan, editor, Race and Class 'Malik's aim in this brilliantly ambitious book is to understand the concept of race by examining its social and historical sources...Understanding a problem is the crucial first step to solving it: Malik's thoughtful and thorough account takes us a long way towards that goal.' A.C. Grayling, Financial Times In The Meaning of Race, Kenan Malik throws new light on the nature and origins of ideas of racial difference. Arguing that the concept of 'race' is a means through which Western society has come to understand the relationship between humanity, society and nature, the book re-examines the relationship between Enlightenment thought and racial discourse, clarifies the nature of scientific racism, and presents a critique of postmodern theories of cultural 'difference'.