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'To bring out the best that is in their blood': Race, reform, and civilization in the journal of race development (1910-1919)

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The Journal of Race Development [ JRD ], published out of Clark University in the United States between 1910 and 1919, aimed, in its founder's words, "to present … the important facts which bear upon race progress, and the different theories as to the methods by which developed peoples may most effectively aid the progress of the undeveloped". Its basic premise was that scientific knowledge could harness racial or civilizational "evolution" and turn it into "development". This article examines that project, the conceptual apparatus that the JRD 's writers and editors brought to bear on it, and how racial ideas informed their conceptions of development and progressive social change through elite scientific and political intervention. Central to this project was an organic notion of "civilization" in which "nature" and "culture" did not so much overlap as flow seamlessly one into the other.
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Keywords: American Social Science-History; Ellsworth Huntington; G. Stanley Hall; George Blakeslee; Journal of Race Development; Thorstein Veblen

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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