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Strange Fruit

Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate

Kenan Malik

Debates about race are back and they’re only getting bigger. The US government has licensed a heart drug to be used only on African Americans. A pharmaceutical company is trialling a white-only anti-hepatitis drug. A genetic study claims that Jews are more intelligent because of their history of money lending.

There has recently been a massive upsurge in scientific racial research, and in STRANGE FRUIT, Malik reveals this rise is paradoxically due to the efforts of liberal anti-racism; a movement that celebrates human difference over human commonalities.

Navigating readers through the historical and scientific thinking on the subject, Malik shows that races are a social construct – they do not actually exist. Stressing that scientists should be allowed to study population differences without the distortions of political race debates, Malik provides a gripping and essential guide to understanding difference in a multicultural world.

  • Publication date: April 16, 2009
  • ISBN: 9781851686650
  • RRP: £10.99
  • Pages: 352


“This question of whether we need to tiptoe respectfully around particular beliefs as somehow culturally privileged has been recently addressed by the science writer Kenan Malik in his interesting book on race, Strange Fruit.
The Times
"A nicely provocative and stylish polemic."
The Guardian
"Strange Fruit:Why Both Sides Are Wrong in the Race Debate has ignited a firestorm of controversy within the scientific community……Malik's extended argument for recognizing the complexity of racial identification is well worth reading for the clarity and insight he brings to the discussion."
Magill Book Reviews for MagillOnLiteraturePlus and Library Reference Center
"[Malik's] tone is measured and his arguments well grounded. And underpinning his lucid and important book is a fundamental belief in universal human dignity."
Financial Times
"For anyone who finds themselves confused or bemused by the 'race debate', and perhaps even more so for those who know exactly where they stand, Strange Fruit, Kenan Malik's excellent new book, is essential reading. Malik is one of the most interesting and perceptive voices operating in the disputed territory where science, culture and politics meet. A stalwart defender of free speech, he is a formidable enemy of fuzzy or wishful thinking." Andrew Anthony
The Observer
"Kenan Malik’s gloriously sharp and combative new book, Strange Fruit, cuts through the cant and confusion that so often surrounds this issue."
Culture Wars - On-line reviews for Institute of Ideas
"Kenan's lucid polemic provides a fascinating history of changing interpretations of the idea of race."
The Sunday Telegraph
"Malik is anything but lazy, and weaves politics, science and history into a thoughtful and considered argument"
BBC Focus
"Kenan Malik's argument will probably not end the race debate just yet, but that will not be for want of eloquence or cogency: far from it" A.C. Grayling
Literary Review
"Three cheers for Malik's rationalism"
New Scientist
"Malik gives a very valuable exposition of the history and construction of race … one of the most thoughtful recent discussions of the subject
"Three cheers for Malik's rationalism"
New Scientist

Kenan Malik

Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer, broadcaster, and Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey, UK. He writes regularly for The Times, the Guardian, Prospect, and New Statesman, and has made a number of acclaimed TV documentaries. His books include The Meaning of Race: Race, History and Culture in Western Society (1996), and Man, Beast and Zombie: What Science Can and Cannot Tell us about Human Nature (2000) which Professor Steve Jones has described as ‘a ray of commonsense in a fog of pseudo-science’.

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