Peschel's “Races of Man”

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THIS book appears from the preface to be founded on General A. von Roon's “Ethnology as an Introduction to Political Geography,” though it is substantially a new work intended to form a complete manual of ethnology. The actual title is somewhat misleading, as no special prominence is given to problems of geographical distribution, while languages, myths, and mere tribal distinctions, are treated with great and somewhat bewildering detail. The perusal of a work like the present, which, with great labour attempts to bring together in a compact form, all the existing information as to the physical and mental characteristics of the various races of mankind, impresses one painfully with the still chaotic state of the infant science of anthropology. With an overwhelming mass of detail as to secondary and often unimportant characters, we find a frequent want of exact knowledge as to the chief physical and mental characteristics of the several races and sub-races.

The Races of Man and their Geographical Distribution.

From the German of Oscar Peschel. London: Henry S. King and Co., 1876.)

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WALLACE, A. Peschel's “Races of Man” . Nature 15, 174–176 (1876) doi:10.1038/015174a0

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