MESA Book Awards

Elise K. Burton

University of Toronto

2021 Nikki Keddie Book Award Winner

Elise K. Burton

Elise K. Burton

Genetic Crossroads: The Middle East and the Science of Human Heredity 
Stanford University Press

Genetic Crossroads exposes how technical and scientific projects about human ethnicity underpinned nationalist ideologies across the twentieth century. Burton introduces a novel angle to established debates, showing how scientific researchers nourished racial mythologies, and how those mythologies drove the researchers themselves. She draws disparate literatures into a single intervention, extending isolated national stories through her integrative original research. The book is remarkable for its breadth of coverage in time, space, and language; every reader will find something that engages their area of curiosity or expertise.

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