Are Racists Crazy?

Are Racists Crazy?

How Prejudice, Racism, and Antisemitism Became Markers of Insanity

Book - 2016
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New York Univ Pr

The connection and science behind race, racism, and mental illness

In 2012, an interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of Oxford reported that - based on their clinical experiment - the beta-blocker drug, Propranolol, could reduce implicit racial bias among its users. Shortly after the experiment, an article in Time Magazine cited the study, posing the question: Is racism becoming a mental illness? In Are Racists Crazy? Sander Gilman and James Thomas trace the idea of race and racism as psychopathological categories., from mid-19th century Europe, to contemporary America, up to the aforementioned clinical experiment at the University of Oxford, and ask a slightly different question than that posed by Time:  How did racism become a mental illness? Using historical, archival, and content analysis, the authors provide a rich account of how the 19th century ‘Sciences of Man’ - including anthropology, medicine, and biology - used race as a means of defining psychopathology and how assertions about race and madness became embedded within disciplines that deal with mental health and illness.            

An illuminating and riveting history of the discourse on racism, antisemitism, and psychopathology, Are Racists Crazy? connects past and present claims about race and racism, showing the dangerous implications of this specious line of thought for today.

Book News
The authors explore the relationship between race, racism, and mental illness and challenge the idea that racism is a psychological disorder. Through examination of the medical and psychological sciences, they discuss the psychopathology of racism from the 19th century to the present, the understanding of the cause of racism in the crowd or mob in World War I, the Holocaust and post-war theories of anti-Semitism and racism, race and madness in mid-20th-century America and other countries, and the modern pathologization of racism. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : New York University Press, [2016]
ISBN: 9781479856121
Branch Call Number: 303.385 GILMAN
Characteristics: viii, 385 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Thomas, James M. 1982-- Author


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