Friday 30 March 2007

The Skull Measurer's Mistake by: Sven Lindqvist

The Skull Measurer’s Mistake
Sven Lindqvist
Translated by Joan Tate
The New Press
182 pages

The Skull Measurer's Mistake is a book of portraits of men and women who spoke out against racism. This book is a history of those who stood against the flow and spoke out, wrote and published against racism and racist ideologies. It is a history of heroes and heroines who took a stand. They were not perfect people and some were against some forms of racism and seem to support others, yet each took a stand for what they believed was right.

This book is a history, or a series of mini-histories, of twenty-two people and the ideas or ideologies that they stood against. It chronicles people from Benjamin Franklin in 1764 talking down a mob en route to massacre a native American community, to Theophilus Scholes in 1899 who wrote against the then-held belief that Europeans, especially Britons, were of Greek descent and heritage.

This book shows the clear progression in racism and racist thought, not through the negative but through the positive, and the strength of those who had the courage and fortitude to stand against these hideous ideas and beliefs.

Lindqvist will open our eyes to a heritage we should not be proud of, but that we should all be aware of, lest we repeat the mistakes of the past.

(First Published in Imprint 2007-03-30 as 'Summer Essentials' Summer reading list.)

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