Superior: The Return of Race Science

Angela Saini

Financial Times Book of the Year

Telegraph Top 50 Books of the Year

Guardian Book of the Year

New Statesman Book of the Year

‘Roundly debunks racism’s core lie – that inequality is to do with genetics, rather than political power’ Reni Eddo-Lodge

Where did the idea of race come from, and what does it mean? In an age of identity politics, DNA ancestry testing and the rise of the far-right, a belief in biological differences between populations is experiencing a resurgence. The truth is: race is a social construct. Our problem is we find this hard to believe.

In Superior, award-winning author Angela Saini investigates the concept of race, from its origins to the present day. Engaging with geneticists, anthropologists, historians and social scientists from across the globe, Superior is a rigorous, much needed examination of the insidious and destructive nature of the belief that race is real, and that some groups of people are superior to others.

Reviews of Superior: The Return of Race Science

    • ‘In this essential book, Angela Saini deftly shows how science and racism have long been intertwined, why that pernicious history continues to this day, and why “race science” is so deeply flawed. Deeply researched, masterfully written, and sorely needed, Superior is an exceptional work by one of the world’s best science writers’ Ed Yong
    • ‘This is an essential book on an urgent topic by one of our most authoritative science writers’ Sathnam Sanghera
    • ‘This is an urgent and important book. It contains a warning: you thought racism might be on its way out of science? … You thought wrong’ Observer
    • ‘As in her previous book Inferior, about gender, Saini skilfully brings together interviews with historians, scientists and the objects of racial science themselves to paint a harrowing picture of the influence of race on science and vice versa’ Sunday Times
    • ‘A very good book: informative and chilling … The history she uncovers is eye-opening and heart-breaking; it’s right to be wary of that history repeating’ The Times
    • ‘The concept of “race” persists, even though it is biologically meaningless. This important book considers why … superb’ Guardian
    • ‘…a brilliant and devastating book’ Telegraph