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Sometimes it takes a modest, carefully-focused book, rather than a sprawling or theoretically-ambitious one, to clarify the issues in a long-running debate. Andrew Evans's Anthropology at War is such a book.

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Although tightly focused on German anthropologists and ethnographers in the period between about and of whom there were no great number , Anthropology at War offers a convincing answer to the question, when exactly did racial thinking become dominant in German scholarship? Evans also offers some insight into the related question, why did racial thinking catch on? But perhaps because Evans is as much an historian of Germany as an historian of anthropology, he also throws light on some larger dynamics in German history, most importantly the generational changes which contributed to the weakening of the liberal tradition.

We can learn much from this modest book—though perhaps not everything we wanted to know. To understand Evans's contribution, we have to sketch some of the debates that have been going on for some time about the history of anthropology [End Page ] and of racial thought in modern Germany.


  1. World War I and the Science of Race in Germany?
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One of the key questions is, how related are these two things? Was German anthropological thinking always racist? Or, did racial thought always reach for anthropological scholarship? Another question involves the timing of racism's dominance in German culture.

Anthropology at War: World War I and the Science of Race in by Andrew D. Evans

We all know that the German-speaking world has produced many liberal thinkers, but has also produced vicious anti-Semites including Luther and specialists in "racial hygiene. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. Email alerts New issue alert. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic.

Anthropology at War

Related articles in Google Scholar. Citing articles via Google Scholar. Childhood Memories of War Re-Examined.


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