Published in 1974 by Oxford University Press.
John Randal Baker (1900 – 1984) was a biologist, zoologist, and professor at the University of Oxford. The most widely received of his works was Race (1974). Uncharacteristically for the time, Baker used the traditional categories of physical anthropology and classified human populations in terms of race.
Baker rejected the methodological relativism that had characterised more recent anthropology, instead going back to earlier ideas of hereditarianism and cultural evolution.
This was a controversial book which received mixed reviews. Baker used a restrictive sense of the term "civilisation", giving 23 criteria by which civilisations might be identified. Based on these criteria, Baker declared that Mesoamerican societies such as those of the Aztecs and Maya were not civilisations, and that no indigenous civilisations ever arose in Africa. He enumerated five civilisations sensu stricto and explored the relationship between the biological traits and the cultures of these five civilisations. Baker speculated that different human races evolved from different subspecies of apes (known as Polygenism). Baker claimed that "negrids" were less evolved, and also inferior, to races Baker described as civilised. Very controversially he associated different smells with different races.
Signed on the title page.
The unclipped dust jacket has some wear, creasing and tears. However the boards are in very good condition, the pages are clean and the binding is sound