Racial and ethnic variation in penis size, pt. 1: some background

A few years ago, a "World Penis Size Map" [1] citing a website containing largely made-up numbers [2] entered widespread circulation. Despite being an obvious and inept hoax, it has continued to take in various people, including the press, some economist [3], and Richard Lynn [4]. I started writing up a post at the time, but never bothered to finish it.

Most recently, a presenter at the 2015 London Conference on Intelligence has attempted to defend this hoax data, claiming:

  • Lynn (2013) attempted to resolve the controversy by obtaining data from the World Penis Website, which listed average national penis lengths based on various sources. Using this, Lynn extended Rushton?s model, based on this, to other races, and found that their average penis sizes differed as Differential K would predict.
  • This paper was ridiculed, most notably by a psychologist blogger called Scott McGreal, who pointed out various minor mistakes on the World Penis Website, insisting all its contents was suspect and not properly reviewed
  • As I am researching a book that extends Rushton?s theory to 12 races, I was very interested in Lynn?s penis data. It occurred to me that we can test the validity of Lynn?s national penis lengths by seeing if they correlated with other national measures androgen in the expected direction.
But the website does not just feature a few "minor mistakes". Most of the data is simply made up. One can't "validate" made-up numbers by attempting to correlate them with other putative markers of androgen exposure.

Autosomal DNA from 2,500-year old Etruscans

Dienekes points to a Biology of Genomes poster ("Assessment of Whole-Genome capture methodologies on single- and double-stranded ancient DNA libraries from Caribbean and European archaeological human remains") that includes a PCA with a few Etruscan samples (the poster text mentions two samples, but the PCA includes three).

If you imagine a line running from the American and British samples (CEU and GBR) through the Spanish (IBS) and Tuscan (TSI) samples, I expect Southern Italian samples would be out past Tuscans on this line and Middle Easterners would be beyond Southern Italians.

The Etruscan samples are shifted north and/or west relative to modern Tuscans (exactly the opposite of what we'd expect if Etruscans had predominantly Near Eastern origins). Since, in the absence of other gene flow, Italic, Celtic, and Germanic admixture in Tuscany would be expected to pull Tuscans north/west relative to Etruscans, it's clear Tuscany has been influenced by southern/eastern gene flow within the past 2,500 years (with potential sources including Roman slaves, medieval slaves, Jews, and southern Italians).

“Nos ancêtres les Gaulois”: Ethnicity and History in Vermont

An article from multiculturalist Canadian Studies professor Joseph-André Senécal (born in Quebec and now employed at the University of Vermont) confirms for Vermont what I found for New England overall using surnames: the original Yankee element, deriving from the initial settlers, was swamped by later arrivals and composes a relatively minor fraction of the current population.

Also see: Burlington, VT: "The Myth of a Yankee Town" (1937)

“Nos ancêtres les Gaulois”: Ethnicity and History in Vermont (pdf):

Canadians, French and English speaking, make up the largest ethnic group in our state. 1 “Our ancestors the Canadians” raises the array of issues, the universals and the particulars, that are germane to the definition and the importance of ethnicity in Vermont history. Who is ethnic in the Green Mountain State? Is Vermont history fundamentally different from the main American narrative whose title could be “A Nation of Immigrants”? Is Vermont a state of immigrants? If the Green Mountains are replete with Canadian Catholics, Italian Socialists, and Russian Jews, why are we fascinated with “Real Vermonters”: the Protestant “Last Yankees” who milk their historical constructs for Vermont Life?

I once had a student who defined “member of an ethnic group” as “a person who moved from somewhere else.” This is an excellent, if incomplete definition of who we are. We are all Vermonters and none of us are real, first, or native, not in a way that should matter. Our understanding of Vermont’s past should not overstate claims to the status of being first, or dwell upon the persistence or preponderance of any single group among us. What does “First” or “Real” Vermonters mean? There is something fundamentally evil in proclaiming to be the first when territorial occupation is the subject of history. Such pretensions, especially those accompanied by claims to divine election, are at the root of nationalism. There are no First Vermonters; only Abenakis who have left their mark upon the land for thousands of years. There are no First Vermonters; only European immigrants who planted themselves in Western Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and elsewhere just long enough to become Americans before transplanting their roots into Vermont soil. The majority of these early Vermonters stayed in the Green Mountains no more than two or three generations before scattering to a West that unfolded to the Pacific. 2 Others—Canadians, Irish, Italians, Swedes, Poles, Lebanese, etc.—came, early and late, in large and small numbers. 3 For the most part, they did not identify their role in daily life with power and ascendancy; they failed to become bankers, railroad magnates, lumber barons, admirals of White Fleets, governors of the state; or if they did, they had no compulsion to define their roots or proclaim the special status of their ancestries. In short, insofar as ethnic identity is concerned, unless they could claim a Yankee lineage and in that way pass for white, Vermonters who made history remained as shrouded, ethnically speaking that is, as women. Most Vermonters, Yankee white or not, made the history of which I speak: the history of textile workers, mostly women and children, and lumberjacks, mostly men, of farm hands and quarry workers. It is the history of Canadians—of French Canadians who worked in the tanneries of Pownal, of Scottish Canadians who made their way to Barre, of Irish Canadians who toiled in the railroad repair shops of St. Albans, of English Canadians (my litany follows the order of numerical importance), 4 and of course, of direct immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy, Poland, etc. Is this history, the history of ethnic Vermont, important enough to merit a major part of our attention?

The answer is yes, emphatically. If we are all ethnic, then ethnicity lies at the heart of a definition of Vermont. But today, much if not most of our history focuses, often with insistence, on one of the state’s ethnic groups: the Yankee. Vermont’s construct of ethnicity is synonymous with whiteness, a most peculiar brand of whiteness at that. Vermont’s definition of ethnicity, the source of much racial, gender, and ethnic prejudice, inequality, and intolerance, is closely associated with the narrative that we have built around the Yankee, the Native Vermonter that Frank Bryan has tried to transform into a witty, taciturn, likeable “Real Vermonter” who does not milk goats. 5 The nature of this prejudice is, in a way, our claim to fame: Vermont’s original contribution to the American experience. We have made much of the environment, the small demographic scale and the racial and ethnic “natural selection” that has saved us from the violence of the Watts’s of this country, the urban blight of the Lowells or Manchesters of New England, the sterile sprawl of the Levittowns of postwar America. George S. Weaver, in his piece, “Vermont’s Minority,” a paper read before the 1888 meeting of the Providence (Rhode Island) Association of the Sons of Vermont, captured the essentials of this long-lived ideology that has turned Vermont into the cultural product we market so successfully today. Evoking the settler days, the time of Vermont’s “minority,” Weaver transforms the Green Mountains into the setting for a eugenic Arcadia: [. . .]

The following passage from Cora Cheney’s storybook tales admirably sums up how Vermont authors have amplified Weaver’s themes:

“Grandpa, what’s a Vermonter?” asked a Yankee boy a hundred years or more ago. Grandpa thought a minute. “Why, son, it’s a person who chooses to live here and take part in the community,” he said. “There’s been a lot of talk about ‘Vermonters’ running the ‘foreigners’ out, but as I see it, all people were foreigners here once, even the Indians.” “I just wondered,” said the boy. “Some fellows at school talk about it. I’ll tell them what you said.” “Something about the Green Mountains makes the people who live here get to be a certain way,” said the old man thoughtfully. “The people who move here don’t change Vermont, but instead they change to Vermonters.” The boy took this thought back to school and became friends with the new Irish and French-Canadian children at recess. When he grew up, the boy married one of his French-Canadian neighbors and together they raised a family of Green Mountain boys and girls. 7
Note that Cora Cheney was not a Yankee, but a transplant from Alabama, of Southern ancestry. Actual Yankee sentiment on immigration was a bit different:
What degree of historical truth and reality can we lend these images of our past? Let us ask major voices. The first testimony comes from the pen of Rowland E. Robinson. The text, taken from Vermont: A Study of Independence (1892), reflects the sentiment of some of Weaver’s contemporaries as they had to grapple with new realities, changes that included the arrival of new “stocks.” Robinson, the son of a family who shepherded blacks to Canadian freedom, cast a different eye on what the aboveground railroad was ferrying from the North. The Sage of Rokeby refers to newcomers who fill the place left by the Yankee emigration to the West as “foreign elements,” “swarms,” “gangs.” 8 The verbs “maraud” and “pilfer” seem to find their way naturally into his dramatic prose. Words such as “infestation” and “inundation” prepare the reader for the following outburst of self-righteous contempt: “They [French-Canadian migrant workers] were an abominable crew of vagabonds, robust, lazy men and boys, slatternly women with litters of filthy brats, and all as detestable as they were uninteresting.” 9

Robinson takes stock of what Vermont is becoming in its “majority”: “The character of these people is not such as to inspire the highest hope for the future of Vermont, if they should become the most numerous of its population. The affiliation with Anglo-Americans of a race so different in traits, in traditions, and in religion must necessarily be slow, and may never be complete. Vermont, as may be seen, has given of her best for the building of new commonwealths, to her own loss of such material as had made her all that her sons, wherever found, are so proud of,—material whose place no alien drift from northward or overseas can ever fill.” 10

Robinson’s lament elucidates the subtext of Weaver’s praise of “vigor” and “sound European stock” and it calibrates the dark intimations contained in such phrases as “They were not cousins who had intermarried for generations.” [. . .]

With hindsight, we can appreciate that Rowland Robinson was unduly alarmed. Vermont has domesticated the French Canadians and the Irish Catholics. Climate, geography, small-scale industries, and poverty have conspired to deny us our allotment of Blacks, Chinese, Eastern, or Southern Europeans. We are as white as a virgin page, as buffered as snow. We live in Senator Dillingham’s dream: Vermont has stayed that mythic kingdom that Currier and Ives can come home to. Much of this pious, infectious construct is dangerous and insidious. It blinds us to the nature of Vermont’s ethnic past and our role, our peculiar role in the history of American inequality and prejudice.

Vermont’s uneasiness with its ethnic past, its failure to valorize the accomplishments of French Canadians or Irish Catholics as such, its insistence on rescuing atypical blacks and other members of minorities, all these symptoms invite us to assess our fascination with what Weaver calls Vermont’s “minority,” and to explore the full meaning of our whiteness. There is much in the concept of whiteness as defined by contributors to The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness 12 that applies to Vermont, its ideology and its historiography; much in this second wave of whiteness studies to illuminate how Vermont “morphs” its ethnic past. [. . .]

Judging by the written word, historians and other intellectuals have not explored these aspects of our past. There is little in the epistemology of Vermont that could be construed as a reflection on the nature and complexity of our ethnic identity. Indeed, there is little but fortuitous, fragmented documentation to inform such a debate. Until such history is written, Vermont’s knowledge of its past will remain as disingenuous as the history lesson dispensed by Republican France to its metropolitan population as well as the teeming masses of the French Empire. “Nos ancêtres les Gaulois,” the opening words of the state- mandated history textbook, has made the French Republic the easy target of revisionists worldwide. 15 Can a more meaningful icon of colonialism be found than millions of black children preparing to be Président du Sénégal or Cardinal du Mali or Dictateur de la Côte d’Ivoire by reciting “Our ancestors the Gauls” as their first history lesson? The phrase “Nos ancêtres les Gaulois” is not only a superb illustration of colonialism, it is a rich, telling demonstration of history as a construct. In full denial of their Germanic, Frankish roots, French historians of the Bismarck era closed their eyes to a mountain of evidence, evidence as ready as the name “France” or “Frankfurt” for example, and created a preposterous caricature: Those irreducible Gaulois who defied Jules César. Let us not laugh too loudly or snicker at these “Real French- men.” Here in Vermont, the new history has hardly made a dent into “Nos ancêtres les Yankees.” How about “Nos ancêtres les Canadiens, les Québécois” to shake things up a bit? [. . .]

1 According to the 1990 Census, over 29 percent of all Vermonters report “French” or “French- Canadian” as one of their ancestries. Statistics on ancestry from the 1990 Census will be found in Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 3A. Major tables will be found in 1990 Census of Population: Social and Economic Characteristics: Vermont (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of the Census, 1993). This French/French-Canadian ancestry is the largest reported for the state and we can safely assume that much of the reported “French” ancestry refers to a French-Canadian immigration to Vermont. See Joseph-André Senécal, “Franco-Vermonters on the Eve of the Millen- nium: Tales From the 1990 Census,” Links (Spring 1997): 8–11, 32.

The next group in importance is made up of Vermonters with an English ancestry (26 percent), followed by people with foremothers and fathers from Ireland (17 percent). Are these Vermonters who claim an ancestry from Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland) direct emigrants from the British archipelago, or could Canada claim many of them on the basis of a long stay (one generation or more), layovers lengthy enough to transform them into English Canadians? We are aware of the vast French-Canadian immigration to the U.S. northeast, but how many of us know that the English-Canadian immigration to the United States was slightly larger than the Québécois and Acadian? The most accurate and intelligent treatment of this phenomenon will be found in Walter Nugent, Crossings: The Great Transatlantic Migrations, 1870–1914 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), 117–148. Unless the multigenerational mobility patterns of the Anglo, Irish, Scotch, Scotch-Irish and Welsh Canadians who came to Vermont are vastly different than the dispersal of French Canadians who immigrated to the Green Mountains, the percentage of contemporary Vermonters who claim a British or an Irish ancestry, but who are also English Canadians, is very high, high enough to make Canadians (French and English Canadians combined) the largest ethnic group in Vermont. [. . .]

4 For statistics on the English-Canadian presence in Vermont see Leon Truesdell, Canadian Born in the United States: An Analysis of Statistics of the Canadian Element in the Population of the United States, 1850–1930 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1943). ... Two titles, Élise Guyette, Vermont: A Cultural Patchwork (Peter- borough, N.H.: Cobblestone Publishing, 1986), and Gregory Sharrow’s Many Cultures, One People : A Multicultural Handbook about Vermont for Teachers, [. . .]

The textbook highlights the history of more than fifteen ethnic groups in Vermont. The work is essential reading not only for the documentary base it provides for the study of these groups but because it aims to combat the historical legacies of whiteness in Vermont. The authors consciously treat the Vermont Yankees as one ethnic group and reserve one chapter, commensurate with the length of the other chapters, to deal with the topic. They are also conscious of their Eurocentric bias and go to great lengths to nullify it. For example, the words “settler” and “pioneer” are avoided in the discussion of English Vermonters. Sharrow is well-aware that such words “tend to elevate the Early English above the other ethnic groups.” Guyette’s Vermont: A Cultural Patchwork affords a summary but balanced and enlightened treatment of ethnicity in Vermont. The most important lesson of this textbook may be the ties that Guyette documents between the story of ethnic Vermont and the preponderance of manufacturing in the state. In cultivating our bucolic image we have evacuated from our collective memory the large, essential historical role of manufacturing, mining, and lumbering in Vermont. In the importance of manufacturing between 1830 and 1930, Vermont mirrors the rest of New England. Only the scales vary. At no time could we have found a Manchester (New Hamp- shire) or Lowell (Massachusetts) in Vermont, but the resources of the Green Mountain State pro- vided ample power and workers to support the important industrial complexes of St. Johnsbury, Bellows Falls, Bennington, and Brattleboro, to name but a few. The traces of the manufacturing vocation of those towns and large villages still linger in the decrepit Lombard factory architecture that one can observe in St. Albans, Winooski, or Rutland. But who remembers the vocation of Barton as the world capital of piano soundboards, the attraction of Jamaica as the site of a chair factory? Who remembers the importance of suspenders for the economic mainstay of Swanton, or wooden bobbins for the workers of Enosburg? Vermont’s ethnic history is tied to its industrial past and one narrative will not emerge without the other.

Burlington, VT: "The Myth of a Yankee Town" (1937)

Vermont Eugenics: A Documentary History. This document is: "The City Selected," "The Myth of a Yankee Town" (excerpts)We Americans: A Study of Cleavage in An American City, Anderson, Elin L.. 1937.


WALKING along the streets of Burlington, the visitor sees nothing in the appearance of the citizens to remind him of the not-too-distant past when the shawl or apron of a foreigner was a usual part of an American street scene.

But to a Yankee farmer they are not all alike. To him Burlington has a lot of foreigners. As he walks along the main street, he looks in vain for a few faces which remind him of the features of Calvin Coolidge. Going into a store he may be greeted by a proprietor whose short and stocky build little resembles the long, lean Yankee storekeeper of earlier days. While waiting to be served he may listen abstractedly to an animated conversation between the clerk and a customer only to realize suddenly that he is listening to a foreign language. "French," he probably decides, as he turns to give his order. He goes into another store to be waited on by the Jewish proprietor, and comes out a little fearful lest he may have met his match in bargaining. If he stays in town for lunch, he will have to look hard along the main street to find a restaurant which is not Greek, or Syrian, or Chinese, or run by some other "foreigner." It is only when he goes into the bank that he can breathe easily, knowing that here he is still on Yankee ground.

Burlingtonians themselves are occasionally interested in speculating on the extent to which the city is no longer an Old American community. The Federal Census gives them some picture of the changes: according to the figures of 1930, 40 per cent of the population of 24,789 are either immigrants or children of immigrants, 12 per cent being foreign-born and 28 per cent of foreign or mixed parentage. This group of immigrants and children of immigrants is composed of several elements. The French Canadian, with 4,895 members, is the largest; it comprises one half of all the people of foreign stock belonging to the first and second generations, and one fifth of all the people of the community. The next largest group is that of English-speaking Canadians, who number some 1,208 persons. The Irish come next with 1,102; and the Russians and Poles (most of whom are Jews) come fourth with 741 persons. Other groups of some size are the English, with 457 members; the Italian, 392; and the German, 309. In addition to these, twenty-nine other nationalities are represented in lesser numbers.

The Census, however, does not tell the whole story, for it does not distinguish the nationality or stock of the grandchildren of immigrants. It is therefore only by a count of the three Catholic parishes - two French-Canadian and one Irish - that a more comprehensive picture may be obtained of the size of the ethnic groups of the city which have been here for more than two generations.

Such a count reveals that the French-Canadian element is much larger than it appears to be from the Census enumeration. By the priests' estimate there are in St. Joseph's, the first French-Canadian parish, some 6,000 souls of French-Canadian stock; in St. Anthony's, some 1,500; and in Cathedral, the English-speaking parish, at least 2.000. Hence, according to this count, the people of French-Canadian stock number approximately 9,500 and comprise almost two fifths of the total population of the city. In Cathedral, the English-speaking parish, there are also some 5,000 persons of Irish stock, and 1,000 Italians, Syrians, and persons of other smaller groups. In this Yankee community, therefore, 15,500 persons, more than three fifths of the population, are members of ethnic groups identified with the Roman Catholic faith; and when to this total is added the Jewish group, numbering 800 persons, the elements foreign to the Old Yankee stock are found to compose 66 per cent of the population of the city.

This does not mean that the remaining 34 per cent is a "pure" Yankee group. Rather, it, too, is composed largely of foreign elements, though of kindred ethnic stocks -English, English Canadians, Germans - with the Old Americans themselves, those of the fourth generation or more in this country, making up an extremely small part of the population of the city. Their ranks are reinforced by the peoples of the related ethnic stocks who are of the Protestant faith, and it is chiefly as Protestants in contrast with Roman Catholics that these form a cohesive group.

[pp. 21-24]

Every community contains its corps of people who consider themselves its charter members. They have determined its nature, created its organizations, fostered its development. In Burlington this corps consists of Old American Protestants -- the Yankees, as they still are called. They have always lived here, they love the place, they own it. No matter what changes may come over the city, no matter how far it has lost its early character, they watch over its development and growth with a certain sense of responsibility born of the feeling of proprietorship. This feeling is justified in a sense by the fact that most of the institutions around which the life of the city centers today were founded by their forefathers. These had, immediately upon their settling in 1763, set up a town government and public schools, and, as early as 1791, the University of Vermont. After these agencies symbolic of the principles of free government had been established, they turned their attention to the organization of a religious society, which was formed in 1805. Today the descendants of these Old Americans have to a large extent retreated from the commercial life of the city, but they still control the banks, most of the city's manufacturing, and the University. Furthermore, they have through their institutions, and aided by the fact that the immigrant invasion was never great enough to threaten their position of dominance, set an indelible stamp upon the life of the community. An internationally known writer who returned after years abroad to make his home in the city explained how deeply satisfying it was to find here a town where the spirit of early American democracy still endured; where independence of thought, appreciation of character on the basis of worth - qualities which are fast disappearing from the American scene - still survived. Here among the elm-arched streets he felt as if he were coming back to an early American democratic community in which Emerson might still be living.

The small Old American group has been helped to maintain its predominant position by the strength of its traditional feeling of the racial superiority of the Anglo-Saxon. As one woman, concerned about a more successful interrelationship between the various ethnic groups of the community, explained: "Of course you do believe that the English are the finest people yet produced on earth. You do believe that they have the most admirable human qualities and abilities that any people have ever had!" Interestingly enough, the newer peoples on the whole accept the Old Americans at their own valuation, perhaps partly because the premium placed on conformity to standards already set has not permitted them to value their own standards and interpretations of America. At any rate, they always speak highly of the Old Americans as fine people with superior ability, shrewd business men, and leaders of the community; though some qualify their appreciation by commenting that the Old Americans tend to be snobbish and ingrown, and that they place undue emphasis upon the forms of their culture, which they expect all newer peoples to emulate. The criticism, however, is always good-humoredly qualified by: "But they can't help themselves, you know. A Yankee just is like that. You have to accept that when dealing with him."

Traditions of family and name, of power and influence in the financial and civic life of the community, of race consciousness, plus a very deep conviction that the Protestant traditions of their forefathers are basically important to the development of free institutions in America, set the Old Americans apart as a group distinct from other people. Within that group there are the usual divisions of classes and cliques, of rich and poor; but the common elements of culture and tradition give an impression of a common unit in relation to other ethnic groups in the community. The Old Americans are charter members; they give a kindly welcome to newcomers, as behooves people of their position, but they expect in return the respect that is due charter members. One who can claim even remote blood connections with any of the group is cordially welcomed without question; he is "one of us," while one who cannot claim such connection is "accepted" only as he obeys the forms and the codes of the group, because, after all, he is "not one of us."

Freed from the kind of economic pressure that is known to a great proportion of the people in the other groups, the Old Americans are concerned primarily with "nice living." Their interests and activities connect them with persons outside the community more than with those within; thus they have broad views, wide interests in the arts, literature, and even international relations. In the community, however, their interest is in keeping their place and their prerogatives; their influence tends to preserve the status quo and puts a check on too rapid an invasion from the lower ranks into their society.

Exploring Surnames, DNA & Genealogy in The Low Countries

Maarten Larmuseau - Exploring Surnames, DNA & Genealogy in The Low Countries

Published on Apr 27, 2015

There is limited knowledge on the biological relatedness between citizens and on the demographic dynamics within villages, towns and cities in pre-17th-century Western Europe. By combining Y-chromosomal genotypes, in-depth genealogies and surname data in a strict genetic genealogical approach, it has been possible to gain insights into the genetic diversity and the relatedness among indigenous paternal lineages within six Flemish communities at the time of surname adoption between 14th-15th century. Since these communities have been selected based on differences in geography and historical development, the genetic results provide relevant information in historical sciences, demography, forensic genetics and genealogy.

Dr. Maarten Larmuseau, evolutionary geneticist, University of Leuven - Dr. Maarten Larmuseau is a senior postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium). He is an evolutionary geneticist interested in the interaction between genetics, evolution and history in humans and animals. Currently he is making use of genetic genealogical tools within forensic, historical and human sociobiological research. His research in e.g. historical cuckoldry rates, the false identification of relics attributed to French kings, and the detection of forgotten historical migration events in the 16th century is well known by both academics and the broad public.

High Y-chromosomal diversity and low relatedness between paternal lineages on a communal scale in the Western European Low Countries during the surname establishment

There is limited knowledge on the biological relatedness between citizens and on the demographical dynamics within villages, towns and cities in pre-17th century Western Europe. By combining Y-chromosomal genotypes, in-depth genealogies and surname data in a strict genetic genealogical approach, it is possible to provide insights into the genetic diversity and the relatedness between indigenous paternal lineages within a particular community at the time of the surname adoption. To obtain these insights, six Flemish communities were selected in this study based on the differences in geography and historical development. After rigorous selection of appropriate DNA donors, low relatedness between Y chromosomes of different surnames was found within each community, although there is co-occurrence of these surnames in each community since the start of the surname adoption between the 14th and 15th century. Next, the high communal diversity in Y-chromosomal lineages was comparable with the regional diversity across Flanders at that time. Moreover, clinal distributions of particular Y-chromosomal lineages between the communities were observed according to the clinal distributions earlier observed across the Flemish regions and Western Europe. No significant indication for genetic differences between communities with distinct historical development was found in the analysis. These genetic results provide relevant information for studies in historical sciences, archaeology, forensic genetics and genealogy.

Jews and Democrats (vs. "elite WASPs" and Republicans)

For example, only 5 of 159 donors from the all-gentile California Club in Los Angeles gave to Democrats in 1968. The situation was the same at two similar clubs for which I had membership lists at the time, the Pacific Union in San Francisco, where only 5 of 89 donors gave to Democrats, and the Detroit Club in Detroit, where 5 of 110 gave to Democrats.

From C. Wright Mills disciple G. William Domhoff's The Power Elite and the State: How Policy Is Made in America:

Ferguson and Rogers not only miss the role of the South and its allies during the New Deal, they are blind to the great importance of Jewish contributors to the Democrats in every large city and at the national level since the 1960s. The material base of the party is now in a religious group that gives primarily to Democrats whatever the donor's particular business sector may happen to be. In this section I am going to marshall evidence to show that Ferguson and Rogers mistake religion for business sector in explaining Mondale's 1984 contributions. But several caveats must be registered before proceeding in order to head off potential misunderstandings. First, the only reason Jewish donors are so important to the Democrats is that most of the rich, northern gentiles have defected to the Republicans. Second, there is no mystery as to why most wealthy Jews remain Democrats, as I confirmed for myself in interviews with major Jewish donors in 1970 and 1971 (Domhoff, 1972). Not only are their family roots in the Democrats, and their community values more sympathetic toward helping the poor (Fuchs, 1956; Lipset and Raab, 1984), but they fear antisemitic Christians as well. As long as there is a fanatical evangelical and reactionary right in the Republican party, it is likely that the Jews will remain Democrats (cf. Isaacs, 1974; Cohen, 1989). Third, Jews remain Democrats in part because they do not fully trust rich gentiles. After all, those upstanding Episcopalians and Presbyterians have kept Jews out of upper-class social clubs in most cities until very recently, if any change has been made at all (Baltzell, 1964; Zweigenhaft and Domhoff, 1982). Finally, it needs to be said that not all Jewish donors give to Democrats. Twenty to 30 percent may give to Republicans in a typical election, and an even higher percentage in an atypical election where the Democratic nominee is perceived as anti-Israel, tolerant of antisemitism, or identified with the evangelical right-wing. [. . .]

New England self-perception circa 1950

"The inhabitants of New England," said an observer of a hundred years ago, "are of a character equal in strength to the austerity of their beliefs."

So, doubtless, are they to this day, though the austerity of their beliefs has been softened. (Weakened, say the surviving men of granite.) It was softened by the hordes from the Old World who swarmed into New England while Yankees were swarming into Ohio, Kansas, and Oregon. [. . .] The swarming immigrants brought a complexity in their religions, and even though the Yankees themselves had invented a number of religions of their own they still, one and all, spoke directly to the Lord without intermediary. With each of their homemade religions, it seemed, there was even less of divine authority than before. Now, with the immigrants, came a church armed with the same sort of absolute authority that had caused the Pilgrims and Puritans to leave old England. So, it was little wonder that the Yankees, who relied chiefly upon their individual consciences for guidance, feared it, found it alien, and were ready to believe the worst that any scoundrel could concoct about its clergy. [. . .]

But libel the Yankee if you will. He is today the most set-upon, the most abused, the most caricatured American of all. He is, in fact, almost the only American who pays no heed to libels about him. Who is the favorite villain of the stage, of the movies, of novels? He is a Yankee banker, name of Peabody or something similar, and not Cohen or Guggenheim. The favorite spiritual mountebank of the stage and movies and novels is not good Father O'Houlihan, bu the Reverend Dr. Sears, or something similar, patently a Congregational minister. The simple clown is not Rufus Rastus Johnson Brown, but a clod from Pumpkin Center, Maine. [. . .] Uncle Tom's Cabin is not to be shown on the screen because it reminds that Negroes once were slaves--and not because of its cruel Simon Legree, born a Yankee. Oliver Twist is banned because of Fagin, a Jew; and the clever magicians of Hollywood have at last produced The Three Musketeers without the unfrocking of a Cardinal Richelieu.

The time rapidly approaches when the only safe target of libel in the United States will be the Yankee of the old stock; nor is he likely to give a tinker's dam for't. He is content in his smug belief that Yankees are above and beyond libel, as secure as are Yankee legends, such as the Horseman of Boston named Revere, as Colonel Allen at Ticonderoga, Nathan Hale at the gibbet, and the flowering of New England's bards and philosophers. Almost the only canard he will rise to refute is that his forebears were burners of witches. They were not burners of witches; they hanged them by the neck. . . .

Libels of the living Yankees are as of the wind. But, sir, commit no improprieties with History. [. . .] Narrow, sir, as the Yankee culture may have seemed, say, to the Episcopalians, and narrow and harsh to the Quakers, yet it was the only valid culture to withstand the rigors and disintegrating effects of the wilderness frontier. Consider, too, its magnificent vitality. It splintered, true enough, yet in every splinter remained something of the basic vitality--as witness those who call themselves Mormons or Adventists or Unitarians or Christian Scientists. [. . .] Yes, indeed, the Presbyterians were dynamic, too. They had a much stronger organization than the Puritans. They also were superb tamers of the frontier. One doubts that America ever saw more efficient pioneers. Yet I bid you read your history right. A full century before those stout people came, the Yankee Puritans called Congregationalists had founded schools and colleges, had founded a new form of civil government. [. . .]

Three hundred and thirty years after establishment of the first New England settlement [. . .], the surviving Yankees have adjusted themselves to living in a world that is no longer, except in very small part, their own. They come close to being, if they are not already, a minority in their own region. The old Yankee blood grows thinner, though slowly, by intermarriage with other stocks. In another two centuries or so the Yankee may well be extinct. What his descendant will be like must be left to prophets in the field of anthropology. [. . .]

You say that our poets are wrong? that the New England character is neolithic and is thus unsuited to a more plastic age? Very well, then. What would you consider as a base for the underpinnings of a nation? Surely, you do not mean that they state, the government, should be the source of energy, of enterprise, of intellect? That is not he way in which the small republic became a great nation. Much of the energy and even more of the intellect which have characterized America stemmed from New England sources. [. . .]

Aye, the Puritan, the Yankee, the New Englander has indeed been the butt of much sport and ridicule. He has been attacked and demolished for his narrowness, for his calm assurance that he alone was right. But, sir, you must either admit that somehow or other he accomplished prodigies; or you must cite some other group of people who accomplished more, or even as much, in the New World. Such a people does not come readily to mind. [. . .]

But what are the tidings? How goes the nation? In the middle of the twentieth century there seems to be no solid, no granitelike assurance. Many Americans say that we are without a positive philosophy, that we are confused, that we search here and there and in vain for some anchor rock that is more than a treacherous reef. No such doubts contaminated the thinking of the old Yankees. Perhaps that is why their notions interpenetrated the whole confederation. At the head of those notions was Industry, along with a rigid moral code for which there was not, nor is, another name. And somewhere in their baggage of notions was Economy, which one of their number, who was Noah Webster, declared to be "management without loss or waste." The foundation of all their notions was, of course, their belief, so clear and so unshakable as to mystify those who did not have it--their belief in a Power from which they could draw, as water form a well, the strength needed for their prodigious works of both mind and body. You must comprehend that when a Yankee went out to pick rock and build a fence, he picked rock and built fence to the glory of his God. When he went out to break path through snowdrirfts, it was to the glory of God. If he went to capture Louisburg, he captured Louisburg to the glory of God. When he decided to defy George the Third, it was for the glory of God that he defied him, because he understood that he, a Yankee, was a work with God. Yea, because he knew that he had an ally in the Almighty, this man succeeded. . . .

Simple and austere notions they were. They survive, here and there, but they are not held in any esteem by the mass of Americans today, who dismiss them as old-fashioned, as backward, as narrow, as antiquated. Perhaps they are. But they were notions formulated by an amazingly durable and most effective people who thought that their legs were made to stand upon. For three hundred years, more or less, that belief and those notions served them and America well. I could wish, sire, that we in mid-twentieth century were better acquainted with old Bradford of Plymouth Plantation, he, the governor of the Pilgrim colony, who was certain that all great & honorable actions are accompanied with greate difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages.

The Rock at Plymouth may have been overdone as a sentimental symbol. But the spirit revealed by old Bradford, and the generations following him, might well point the way, might even fill the void of which an uneasy "whole confederation" has become increasingly conscious.

[Stewart Hall Holbrook. The Yankee exodus: an account of migration from New England. Macmillan, 1950. pp. 353-362]

Related: New England self-perception circa 1810

James Truslow Adams, the "American dream", and America as "A Nation of Immigrants": nothing to do with New Englanders

What the man behind the ‘American Dream’ really meant

WE All FEEL drawn to the “American Dream.” For millions, immigrants especially, the phrase has evoked the full promise of the United States. What it means exactly, though, has shifted significantly over the years, and that accordion-like expansiveness has only increased its usefulness.

The man credited with first crafting the “American Dream” had, in some ways, lived it out himself. James Truslow Adams’s story was not one of rags to riches, but he did reinvent himself mid-career, becoming a writer after an unfulfilling stint in finance. Ironically, however, Adams’s new life landed the inventor of an all-inclusive phrase as a specialist in a very cloistered niche, the Colonial history of New England, for most of his writing years. There he seemed a familiar type: the antique New Englander writing about New England antiquity.

That was not a type normally given to wild-eyed celebrations of immigration, especially in the 1920s. At the time, the trial of Italian anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti had awakened intense local controversy, admissions quotas were widely in place at local universities, and prominent Bostonians dominated a national organization, the Immigration Restriction League, whose purpose was all too clear from its name. But Adams routinely defied expectations. Indeed, this seeming Yankee was not a Yankee at all, but a Brooklynite — with a Venezuelan grandmother to boot. As Adams wrote his acclaimed histories of New England, he did it in a way that subtly recast the familiar story, teasing out democratic elements that were not always in the earlier versions.

Adams's father was half Southern (his family was from Maryland and Virginia, and unrelated to the presidential family) and half Venezuelan. His mother was born in New York, and her ancestors appear to be mid-Atlantic (including some French and with no New England ancestry that I was able to identify).
In the 1920s, Adams circled back to the beginnings of America’s global might, which he located in the first settlement of New England. The time and place were well known, but he found a way to enliven them, with some emphasis on the backsliders who did not fit squarely into the Harvard-centric version of New England’s past. Specifically, he did not disparage Rhode Island and New Hampshire — as so many earlier historians had — and even found much to praise there, including a higher level of religious freedom and a strong democratic ethos that often resisted Boston’s demands. His approach would eventually be called social history, and find favor later in the 20th century, even if he was a bit too rarefied to be completely at home with the raffish elements he celebrated.

Adams’s books were a critical and popular success. In 1921, he won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Founding of New England,” the first in a trilogy of New England histories. He never strayed far from this region, eventually moving to Southport, Conn., and creating some confusion by writing about the Adams family, to which he was not related.

But his own family was interesting enough, particularly the fact that his father was born in Caracas. That strand of DNA must have helped. Unlike some peers, he saw economic and social factors as essential to the story and disdained the traditional emphasis on Puritans fleeing persecution. In other words, he saw the earliest New Englanders as immigrants, seeking their version of the American Dream. He created a precedent for the New England historians to come who would celebrate immigration as vital to the American experience — Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr., Oscar Handlin, Bernard Bailyn, and John F. Kennedy, among others.

Of the immigration-celebrating "New England" historians mentioned, three are Jews and one is an Irish Catholic whose seminal contribution to American immigration history, commissioned by the ADL, was ghostwritten by one Myer Feldman, in cooperation with "Arthur Mann, a historian supplied by the Anti-Defamation League."

Update: Steve Sailer has an article on "Benjamin Franklin’s American Dream". Franklin's vision for America was dead opposite the ADL's:

Hodgson explains Ben Franklin’s American Dream:
Living in the mid-eighteenth century, [Franklin] had a vision of a middle-class society that was necessarily one in which the majority owned and worked their own lands. . . . His dream was of a prosperous and middle-class America, peopled largely by the English, that spanned a continent and confidently assumed a preeminent place among nations.
In 1964, four decades after mass immigration had been shut down, the country looked rather like Franklin’s vision. But the mechanisms Franklin had identified as crucial to American happiness have been increasingly forgotten during the ensuing Nation of Immigrants nostalgiafest.

Near Eastern admixture in Tuscany: signal of Etruscans, or medieval slaves?

Mitogenomes from The 1000 Genome Project Reveal New Near Eastern Features in Present-Day Tuscans

Genetic analyses have recently been carried out on present-day Tuscans (Central Italy) in order to investigate their presumable recent Near East ancestry in connection with the long-standing debate on the origins of the Etruscan civilization. We retrieved mitogenomes and genome-wide SNP data from 110 Tuscans analyzed within the context of The 1000 Genome Project. For phylogeographic and evolutionary analysis we made use of a large worldwide database of entire mitogenomes (>26,000) and partial control region sequences (>180,000).


Different analyses reveal the presence of typical Near East haplotypes in Tuscans representing isolated members of various mtDNA phylogenetic branches. As a whole, the Near East component in Tuscan mitogenomes can be estimated at about 8%; a proportion that is comparable to previous estimates but significantly lower than admixture estimates obtained from autosomal SNP data (21%). Phylogeographic and evolutionary inter-population comparisons indicate that the main signal of Near Eastern Tuscan mitogenomes comes from Iran.


Mitogenomes of recent Near East origin in present-day Tuscans do not show local or regional variation. This points to a demographic scenario that is compatible with a recent arrival of Near Easterners to this region in Italy with no founder events or bottlenecks.

Something I never see mentioned in these papers attempting to make inferences about the origins of Etruscans based on genetic variation in modern Tuscans:
Until recently, slaves have been invisible in the literature on medieval Tuscany, leading scholars to overlook them as a means of contact with the east. Historians abandoned this assumption when Giulio Prunai and Iris Origo documented the importation of hundreds of slaves to the region, conclusively demonstrating that the institution was widespread in medieval Tuscany.

[Michael P. Kucher. The Water Supply System of Siena, Italy: The Medieval Roots of the Modern Networked Cities.]

Introduction. Among the unfamiliar minor episodes of history - those shadowy backwaters which so often repay exploration - there is one that is little known even by students of mediaeval Florence: the story of the slaves brought to Tuscany from the Black Sea and from Africa, during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, who came to form no inconsiderable proportion of the Florentine population. A traveller arriving in Tuscany at this time might well have been startled by the appearance of the serving-maids and grooms of the Florentine ladies. Mostly small and squat, with yellow skins, black hair, high cheek-bones and dark slanting eyes, many of them deeply marked by smallpox and by scars or tattooed patterns on their faces, they certainly seemed to belong to a different race from the Florentine. Sometimes, too, a lady would be attended by a negro, or by a taller, fair-haired woman, white-skinned, but also unmistakably foreign; and if the traveller had friends in one of the Florentine palazzi and went to call, he found several other exotic figures there, too: swarthy or yellow little girls of eleven or twelve, and sometimes a small Moorish boy, acting as nursemaids or playmates for the little Florentine merchant-princes.

All these were slaves: most of them Tartars, but some also Russian, Circassian or Greek, Moorish or Ethiopian. Every prosperous noble or merchant had at least two or three of them; many had more. Even a notary's wife, or a small shopkeeper's, would have at least one, and it was far from uncommon to find one among the possessions of a priest or nun. [. . .]

Where had they all come from? Who were they? And - we may add - what was the part they played in the domestic life of Tuscany? The answer to these questions forms a curious story. It may be pieced together from deeds of sale and enfranchisements and wills, from the ledgers of foundling hospitals, from the bills of lading of trading-ships, from court records and judgments and city stat- utes, from private letters and diaries and account-books. Out of all these docu- ments a picture emerges of a whole underworld of alien, uprooted creatures - the "displaced persons" of their time. Sometimes a few of them succeeded in escaping from servitude - but often only to form the dregs of the predatory population of outlaws who lived by robbery on the Tuscan roads, or who swelled the crowd during bread riots or political tumults. And by far the greater number of them remained (often even after enfranchisement), in their masters' houses, the necessary background of every domestic scene, speaking a curious half-in- comprehensible jargon, waiting at every table, listening at every door, and mingling (as to this, the records leave us no doubt) their blood with that of their Tuscan hosts. Domestici hostes, domestic enemies - that was Petrarch's name for these inmates of every household, so alien and yet so close, and the author of a treatise of domestic economy in Sicily, Caggio, held the same opinion. "We have," he wrote, "as many enemies as we have slaves."

The interest of this forgotten episode of history is a double one - social and ethnical. On the one hand it is curious to discover that Florentine society during the last centuries of the Middle Ages depended, even if to a lesser degree than that of Athens and Rome, on services of men who were un-free. Beneath the co- operative associations of the guilds - the Arti Maggiori e Minori - beneath even the oppressed, hungry rabble of the popolo minuto, the Tuscan cities held another class- made up of men and women without human or legal rights, without families of their own, without any recognized ties between them, with- out even a name, save that given to them by their master: the slaves.

Moreover, and perhaps this is the most interesting point- they came to form a sufficiently large proportion of the population to affect, by this strong alien infiltration, the Tuscan stock- and, perhaps, the Tuscan character. Many widely different strains had already contributed to the formation of the Tuscan people: Etruscan, Roman, Lombard, Frankish. And now there came this new blood from the East and, later on, from Africa - vigorous and vital, di genteferigna.* From the cities it spread - since slaves, as we shall see, were kept even in remote country villages - throughout the whole of Tuscany. We may see their features in many of the pictures of the time. To this day, if you watch a group of children squatting in a semicircle in the dust of a village street, their voices and hands upraised in the old Mediterranean game of morra, you will some- times see among them the crisp black curls, the dark skin and flashing eyes of an Arab boy, or the high cheek-bones and slanting eyes of a little Tartar.

[Iris Origo. The Domestic Enemy: The Eastern Slaves in Tuscany in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries. Speculum / Volume 30 / Issue 03 / July 1955, pp 321-366.]

Reply to Peter Frost (part 5): anthropology as the science of race

In discussing the history of anthropology, Sarich and Miele (in Race: The Reality of Human Differences) find it useful to:
highlight three critical junctures in which science, politics, and personality interacted: the disputes between Ernst Haeckel and Rudolf Virchow, between Franz Boas and Madison Grant, and finally between Carleton Coon and Ashley Montagu.
Of the two cases that played out in America, both involve race-denialist Jewish immigrants opposing "northeastern WASPs" with colonial roots (Coon's ancestry is 3/4 colonial New England and 1/4 Cornish; all of Grant's ancestors were in America before 1790, at least half of Grant's ancestry can be traced back to New England).

Darwinism in Britain, whether in the early days or today, has fo­cused on individuals, with groups emerging from them. British evolutionism has always had the shopkeeper’s sober obsession with keeping a good set of books. In Germany, however, Darwin­ ism took on a collectivist, romantic tone. There the great apostle of Darwin, Ernst Haeckel (1834-1913), imbued the theory of nat­ural selection with the spirit of German Romanticism. [. . .]

Haeckel and all he came to champion were opposed by his former professor, the distinguished biologist Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902). The conflict between them was both personal and political. The two men were polar opposites in appearance, ancestry, and tempera­ ment. Haeckel was tall, blond, German in name and appearance, with a strong love of the out-of-doors, and a generalist looking for one grand theory to account for everything. Virchow, whose name and appearance betrayed a Slavic ancestry, was a detail man and a pedantic laboratory taskmaster. Haeckel was charismatic and devel­oped a huge, almost religious following; Virchow was respected, even feared, but rarely liked. Haeckel was a strong supporter of the German Volk and Reich; Virchow was a radical advocate of social reform who fought at the barricades in the revolution of 1848. Vir­chow was a member of the German Progressive Party and opposed Bismarck’s policies. The Iron Chancellor, having already dispatched or intimidated earlier opponents with saber or pistol, challenged the professor to a duel. Virchow declined— unless they agreed to fight with scalpels. [. . .]

Between 1863 and Virchow’s death in 1902, Haeckel and his former professor clashed at scientific conferences and in print. Haeckel’s evolutionism was progressive, moving from lower to higher forms. Without any physical evidence, Haeckel went out on a limb and predicted fossil hunters would soon discover a crea­ture he dubbed Pithecanthropus, the ape-man or missing link. In­spired by Haeckel’s prediction, one of his disciples, Eugène Dubois, found the fossil he termed Pithecanthropus erectus (now classified as Homo erectus) in Java in 1891. For Virchow this finding entailed pointless speculation. He rejected the fossils, saying they were the result of pathological degeneration. As his repugnance grew at what he saw as the associations and implications of monism, Vir­chow came to reject evolution altogether. Any change in individ­uals or species that could be observed rather than hypothesized, he argued, was evidence of degeneration, not progress. [. . .]


When Galton died in 1911, eugenics was widely accepted not only in Britain and Germany but in the United States as well. Raymond Pearl, professor of biology at Johns Hopkins University (then a supporter of eugenics but later an opponent), noted that by 1912, “eugenics was catching on to an extraordinary degree with radical and conservative alike.” [. . .]

At the start of the twentieth century, most American anthropologists came from wealthy Brahmin families and were educated at Harvard University. They were solidly in the eugenics camp, agreeing with Galton on both individual and race differences. And then, as one author put it, Along Came Boas. His name is hardly a household word, but it is no exaggeration to say that Franz Boas (1858-1942) remade American anthropology in his own image. Through the works of his students Margaret Mead (Coming of Age in Samoa and Sex and Temperament in Three Soci­eties), Ruth Benedict (Patterns of Culture), and Ashley Montagu (innumerable titles, especially the countless editions of Man’s Most Dangerous Myth), Boas would have more effect on American intellectual thought than Darwin did. For generations, hardly anyone graduated from an American college or university with­ out having read at least one of these books. They all drew their inspiration from Boas’s The Mind of Primitive Man.

Franz Boas came from a German Jewish home, steeped in the “sentiment of the barricades” of the 1848 revolutions that swept across Europe. He originally obtained his doctorate in physics but later turned to geography. After fieldwork with the Greenland Es­ kimos, he took up anthropology— Virchow’s brand, not Haeckel’s. Virchow, in the words of one biographer, “had perhaps the greatest influence on Boas.” [. . .]

Appointed chairman of the department at Columbia University in 1899, Boas transformed anthropology from the leisure study of a few well-to-do WASPs into a highly credentialed discipline that pumped out Ph.D.’s. By 1915 his students had a two-thirds con­ trolling majority on the executive board of the American Anthropological Association. In 1919, Boas could boast that “most of the anthropological work done at the present time in the United States” came from his former students at Columbia. By 1926 they headed every major department of anthropology in America.

Before Boas, anthropology was the study of race. After Boas, anthropology in America became the study of culture, defined as “personality writ large,” [. . .]

Like his mentor Virchow, Boas was skeptical of evolutionary explanations, genetic or cultural. He even entertained a sympa­ thy for Lamarckism. What turned him into the godfather of cul­tural determinism in America, however, was the growing popular appeal and political power of the eugenics and anti-immigration movements. [. . .]

Franz Boas was a dark-haired Jewish immigrant from a leftist milieu, educated at German universities steeped in the ideals of the Enlightenment. Madison Grant, an archetypal Nordic, was a lawyer turned amateur biologist and a pillar of America’s WASP establishment. Grant claimed that his fellow American Nordics were committing racial suicide, allowing themselves to be “el­ bowed out” of their own land by ruthless, self-interested Jewish immigrants, who were behind the campaign to discredit racial re­ search. Yogi Berra’s words would have been apt: “It was déjà vu all over again.” Haeckel’s monism had driven Virchow from skepti­ cism into rejecting biological evolution. Nativist, proeugenic, elitist tracts such as Grant’s drove Boas from skepticism into re­ jecting the evolutionary perspective on culture and even linguis­ tics (which he had earlier advocated).

In his book In Search of Human Nature (1991), which is subti­ tled The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought, Degler concluded that Boas’s substitution of cultural for genetic determinism was not the result of

a disinterested, scientific inquiry into a vexed if controversial ques­ tion. Instead, his idea derived from an ideological commitment that began in his early life and academic experiences in Europe and continued in America to shape his professional outlook. To as­sert that point is not to say that he fudged or manufactured his evi­dence against the racial interpretation—for there is no sign of that. But, by the same token, there is no doubt that he had a deep inter­est in collecting evidence and designing arguments that would rebut or refute an ideological outlook— racism—which he consid­ered restrictive upon individuals and undesirable for society.

Coon vs. Montagu:

The Boasians were outsiders. Papa Franz and many of his stu­dents were Jews, though “the preponderance of Jewish intellectu­als in the early years of Boasian anthropology and the Jewish identities of anthropologists in subsequent generations has been downplayed in standard histories of the discipline.” Some, like Boas himself, were immigrants to boot. Montagu was born Israel Ehrenberg in the working-class East End district of London, En­gland. He was so leery of anti-Semitism (“If you’re brought up as a Jew, you know that all non-Jews are anti-Semitic . . . It’s a good working hypothesis”) that he reinvented himself as Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu from London’s well-to-do West End fi­nancial district, complete with a posh public school accent. When he came to the United States, Montagu played the role of the British headmaster, lecturing American audiences before a re­ceptive media on the foolishness of their prejudices. Later he dropped the hyphen and became simply Ashley Montagu.

Mead and Benedict could point to WASP pedigrees as pure as Madison Grant’s, but Mead was bisexual and Benedict a lesbian. At that time, those sexual orientations were far more stigmatized than they are today. Their sexual preferences are relevant, be­ cause developing a critique of traditional American values was as much a part of the Boasian program in anthropology as was their attack on eugenics and nativism. [. . .]

Whatever their individual origin, the Boasians felt deeply es­tranged from mainstream American society and the male WASP elites they were displacing in anthropology. Gene Weltfish, an­ other student of Boas, epitomized this sense of alienation when she said she felt that her generation had only three choices— go live in Paris, sell The Daily Worker (the U.S. Communist Party newspaper) on street corners, or study anthropology at Columbia. [. . .]

According to Degler, “Boas almost single-handedly developed in America the concept of culture, which, like a powerful solvent, would in time expunge race from the literature of social science.” In fact, Boas achieved his goal only with help, including a great deal from a most unwelcome source— Hitler and the Holocaust. After World War II, “race” and “eugenics” became very dirty words. The University of London’s Department of Eugenics changed its name to the Department of Genetics; the Eugenics Society became the Galton Institute; the Annals of Eugenics was renamed the Annals of Human Genetics; and Eugenics Quarterly became Social Biology. In 1949 the United Nations Educational, Social, and Cultural Organi­ zation (UNESCO) was called upon to adopt “a program of dissemi­ nating scientific facts designed to remove what is generally known as racial prejudice.” For the drafter of the first UNESCO statement, Ashley Montagu, this was an opportunity to deny the reality of race.


The preliminary match in anthropology’s fight over race was Vir­chow versus Haeckel. Then there was Boas versus Madison Grant. The final match in anthropology’s dispute went the distance. It was almost as lengthy as the names of its participants— Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu versus Carleton Stevens Coon.

Again there was a personal element to the clash. Coon was from a New England family that could trace its roots to colonial times and before that to Cornwall, ancestral home of the leg­ endary King Arthur. Coon was quite proud of his ancestry. Those sympathetic to Coon believed his personal dislike of Montagu was because he thought everyone else should dislike him as well. Why the need to pass oneself off as something one is not? Mon­ tagu, as already noted, had his “good working hypothesis” about non-Jews and anti-Semitism. [. . .]

Coon believed that race was a central issue and his job as an anthropologist was to study race; Montagu felt his was to banish race to the periphery and replace it with the concept of “ethnic group.” He began his effort to have the word “race” replaced by “ethnic group” in his 1942 book, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race. When he was selected to draft the initial (1950) UNESCO Statement on Race, Montagu was given a plat­ form from which to present his view to a much larger, non-acade­mic audience. [. . .]

In his autobiography, Adventures and Discoveries, Coon ex­ plained how younger members wanted a special meeting at the 1961 AAPA convention, supposedly to discuss new business but in fact to censure Putnam’s book. [. . .]

Coon asked for a show of hands on how many attendees present had read the book they were about to censure. Only one. Then he asked how many had even heard about it before the ses­ sion. Only a few. Nonetheless, the resolution condemning Race and Reason passed.

In Coon’s words, “The Communists did not need to fight us. They could rot us from within. I could see it all as in a horrid dream.” (Remember, this was 1961 when both the Cold War and the civil rights movement were at their peaks.) He refused to have his name appear on the resolution as president of AAPA and resigned.

Reply to Peter Frost (part 4): Grant vs. Boas

From Jonathan Spiro's Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant:
Nordic and Anti-Nordic

The lifelong hostility between Madison Grant and Franz Boas was the personification if not the core of the nature-nurture debate in the United States. Grant was the prophet of scientific racism and, in Ellsworth Huntington’s phrase, the perennial “cheer leader of the Nordics in America.” Boas, on the other hand, devoted a lifetime to counteracting “the vicious, pseudo scientific activity of so-called scientists” who belittled nurture and pro- moted “this Nordic nonsense.” [. . .]

But Franz Boas (1858–1942) was the antithesis of Madison Grant. Whereas Grant was the scion of an aristocratic American family and displayed all the attitudes and prejudices implied by such a heritage, Boas was the product of an upper-middle-class German household in which, as he put it, “the ideals of the revolution of 1848 were a living force.” His progressive Jewish parents raised him with a firm belief in the dignity of the individual and the equipotentiality of all humans. As such, during his four-decade reign at Columbia University as the world’s most famous anthropologist, Boas preached with increasing vigor and confidence against racial prejudice, and consciously and actively worked to thwart the dangerous influence of Grant (“that charlatan”) and his disciples. 3 Boas rejected Grant’s division of mankind into biologically distinct and hierarchical subspecies. He challenged not only the superiority but the very existence of the Nordic race. And he denied that there was any correlation between the physical characteristics of a population and its mental or moral traits. The latter, he asserted, were created by the “culture” in which an individual was raised, not his or her germ plasm. Where Grant proclaimed that man was a mammal like any other and that anthropology ought to be a branch of zoology, Boas took the opposite tack and, in the words of Elazar Barkan, “divorced the biological from the cultural study of humankind.” In sum, Boas categorically rejected every tenet of Grant’s scientific racism and actively opposed every facet of Grant’s eugenic program. Of course, it was clear to Grant that the root of Boas’s hostility lay in the fact that he was a Jew, and Grant explained to Maxwell Perkins that Boas “naturally does not take stock in [my version of] anthropology which relegates him and his race to the inferior position that they have occupied throughout recorded history.”

Reply to Peter Frost (part 3): The founding of the NAACP

Frost: "As a professor at Columbia, he was dealing with a regional WASP culture that still preserved the radical abolitionism of the previous century. A good example was Mary White Ovington, a founder of the NAACP "

Three people are credited as the initial instigators of the NAACP: one Northeasterner, one Southerner, and one Jew.

One man who did not approve of the mob's behavior was the wealthy Kentucky writer, William English Walling. His Jewish wife had suffered similar discrimination in Russia from anti-Semites. Walling wrote an article for the Independent, a publication that had long defended human rights, expressing his shock at Springfield's shamelessness. He described boycotts intended to drive blacks out of the city as terrorist tactics that could ultimately undermine a democratic way of life.

In response to the article, Mary White Ovington, a wealthy social worker and granddaughter of a white abolitionist, contacted Walling. Ovington had dedicated herself to solving blacks' problems. In January 1909, Ovington and Henry Moskowitz, another social worker, met with Walling in his New York apartment, where they conceived a national biracial organization of fair-minded whites and intelligent blacks to address wrongs endured by blacks. Three white people founded the NAACP.

The Southerner, William English Walling, was a socialist with a Jewish wife. Mary White Ovington was evidently also a socialist.

Ovington is described above as "wealthy", but as concerns her personal means this seems to be false, and as concerns her family it seems their business (a gift shop) experienced frequent reversals. Ovington apparently collected a salary for years as a settlement worker, and depended on a fellowship from the "Greenwich House Committee on Social Investigations" to write the book to which Boas contributed a foreword. According to Ovington herself, it was not until 1903, after hearing a speech by Booker T. Washington, that "The Negro and his problems came into my life," and she decided "to be of some help to this neglected element." This was not a cause she picked up from her parents.

Boas was a member of the committee that awarded Ovington the fellowship. Including Boas, it looks like 3 out of the 7 committee members were Jewish (the other two being E. R. A. Seligman, a son of the banker Joseph Seligman, and Vladimir Simkhovich, both also Columbia professors).

Reply to Peter Frost (part 2): Boas was a product of German(-Jewish) culture, not American culture

The version of history in which Franz Boas was a dispassionate purveyor of real talk who picked up anti-racism from "liberal WASPs" is of course wholly Peter Frost's own invention. This scenario finds no support outside of Frost's imagination.

Boas's agenda remained consistent over his entire career, and it's not an agenda he picked up in America. Boas was born in Germany, studied anthropology in Germany, brought his fully-formed worldview with him from Germany, and continued to identify with Germany throughout his life.

This paper (Leonard Glick, Types Distinct from Our Own: Franz Boas on Jewish Identity and Assimilation. American Anthropologist, 84: 545–565.) provides some background on the world Boas was born into (including discussion of Jewish emancipation, the German reaction, the 1848 revolutions, etc.) and how this background affected Boas.

For a problem of such magnitude, he continued, there could be only one solution: “Israel must renounce its ambition to become the master of Germany.” The Jews should accept at once the inescapable necessity that their influence in German life be curbed and abridged through strict quotas in every public sector, and through reorganization of the nation’s economic structure. “Either we succeed in this,” he concluded, “and Germany will rise again, or the cancer from which we suffer will spread further. In that event our whole future is threatened and the German spirit will become Judaized” (ibid.:287). The impact of this speech on Berlin political life was “extraordinary,” says Massing, and for the next five or six years the so-called Berlin movement, led by Stoecker and with anti-Jewish agitation as its definitive characteristic, “kept the capital in a turmoil” (ibid.:30; Boehlich 1965).

In 1881 Stoecker was elected to the Reichstag as representative for Siegen, the constituency immediately adjacent to Minden, and retained this position for many years. He was also by then representative for Minden to the Prussian Diet and is said by one German historian to have been “at that time one of the most popular men in Minden- Ravensberg” (Herzig 1973:125; Pulzer 1964:99). His opponent in the Reichstag election was Rudolf Virchow, the distinguished physical anthropologist and progressive politician with whom Boas soon afterward established close ties. Stoecker distributed an election-eve pamphlet describing Virchow as a defender of Jewish usurers. Moreover, he continued, the Progressives (left liberals) were calling Virchow “the representative of culture,” but “I do not want any culture that is not Germanic and Christian” (Massing 1949:41). [. . .]

It was in this troubled social environment that Franz Boas grew to young adulthood. Clyde Kluckhohn and Olaf Prufer, writing on his “formative years,” have something to say about the intellectual life of the period but make no mention of Volkish ideology. They do note that anti-Semitism was an important problem for Boas: “The letters from Kiel,” they remark, “are particularly full of accounts of unpleasant activities among the student body, and of gross personal behavior” (1959:10-11). Commenting on the same period, A. L. Kroeber says that the “non-intellectual aspects” of Boas’s university life “may be presumed to have been warm and rich,” but he also notes that Boas left with “several deep facial scars from sabre cuts received in duelling.” He then refers, somewhat ambiguously, to Boas’s self-identification as being of the “Mosaic confession” and to a story about a fight and duel following an anti-Semitic insult (1943:7-8). 5 Stocking states explicitly that the duels were “fought over anti-Semitic remarks” (1979:33).

Nor was it "liberal WASPs" Boas primarily affiliated himself with in America.
His immediate solution to the question of religious identification, to the extent that he accepted this as a question, was to become a member of the Society for Ethical Culture, founded in New York City by Felix Adler, an educator, social activist, and later professor of political and social ethics at Columbia. Adler was the son of the rabbi of the most prestigious Reform congregation in the country, Temple Emanu-El of New York. It was anticipated that he would succeed his father in the same pulpit, but at age 22 he delivered a guest sermon, entitled “The Judaism of the Future,” which permanently eliminated that prospect. Judaism, along with all other formal creeds, was on the verge of extinction, he declared, and the only proper course was abandonment of religious particularism in favor of a humanistic faith embracing all humanity: “... we discard the narrow spirit of exclusion, and loudly proclaim that Judaism was not given to the Jews alone, but that its destiny is to embrace in one great moral state the whole family of men…” (Radest 1969: 17; emphasis in original). This was, in fact, wholly within the spirit of Reform Judaism, although Adler carried the argument a step further by inviting eve[r]yone to join. In his lecture inaugurating the Ethical Culture movement, delivered in 1876, Adler proposed “to entirely exclude prayer and every form of ritual,” and declared his primary allegiance to “freedom of thought” as the “sacred right of every individual man” (ibid. :27 -28).

The organization prospered and achieved something of a reputation for service in the interests of social reform and humanitarian ideals. The membership was heavily and probably predominantly composed of cultivated German Jews, for whom it gave organizational legitimation to the very same values that Boas summarized as “the ideals of the revolution of 1848,” and it is quite apparent why it appealed to him. 8 Although he does not appear to have been deeply engaged with the Society’s program, he did travel to London in 1911 to deliver a lecture on “Instability of Human Types” at a Universal Races Congress, sponsored by the Society, which brought together Asians, Africans, and Europeans for what may have been the first such effort to achieve genuine cross-cultural exchange on a formal level (Radest 1969:93-94).

"Fair housing" as a Jewish issue

Nathaniel Weyl asserts:
Another case of the Jewish voters cutting off their own noses was the vote in 1964 on various state and city "public accommodations" ordinances. These measures restricted or totally abolished the right of house and apartment owners to refuse to sell or rent on the basis of race. The purpose was to enable Negroes to move into previously white residential areas. Since residential discrimination against Jews had become pretty much of a dead letter, the Jewish interest was identical with that of the other whites.
While Weyl is no doubt correct that as an objective matter the impact of residential discrimination on Jews in 1960s America was negligible, this did not stop Jews from viewing the fight against freedom of association as a "Jewish issue". As perceived by Jews, Jewish interests were hardly "identical with those of the other whites".
In confronting housing discrimination [. . .], Jews navigated the difficult terrain of determining how an issue might be a Jewish one even when Jews were not always directly involved in it. A 1960 investigation revealing that Jews, among other minorities, had been systematically handicapped in their ability to purchase homes in the Grosse Pointe suburbs of Detroit stood out for Jewish leaders as the exception that proved the rule: in only very few cases did Jews face housing discrimination. A NCRAC report from 1960 explained, "All of us are cognizant . . . that discrimination against Jews in housing is trivial in comparison with discrimination against Negroes; that it is an irritant and an affront to Jews, whereas it is a deprivation as well as a deep indignity to Negroes." Jewish leaders, the report admonished, should not concern themselves with the "occasional Judenrein [Jew-free, a term used by the Nazi regime] apartment houses or neighborhoods, but with those festering and unresolved problems created by the persistence of racial housing segregation in the cities and suburbs." A few years later, NCRAC "took some gratification in the fact that Jewish organizations and individuals are prominently represented in citizens' fair housing bodies." To liberal Jewish leaders, fair housing was a Jewish issue.

[Lila Corwin Berman. Metropolitan Jews: Politics, Race, and Religion in Postwar Detroit]

The Grosse Pointe Gross Point System
In the Spring of 1960 as a result of a court case, the realtors association of very affluent suburban Grosse Pointe (the association brought together realtors from all the Grosse Pointes--Farms, Woods, etc.), just to the northeast of the city of Detroit, was "exposed." [. . .]

Under the system a realtor would find a potential purchaser for a home. Then a private investigator would be hired to make a report on the person. The report would be given to a committee of three brokers and they would take information from the report and use it to assign points to the buyer. Points would be given for matters such as the "extent to which" the buyer was "Americanized," along with his "general standing." This included references to the "swarthiness of appearance," "friends," "dress," "religion," "education," "use of grammar," and "accent."

Norman C. Thomas writes: "The screening process was not required for persons of Northern European ancestry, e.g., Anglo-Saxons, Germans, French, Scandinavians, etc. Out of a maximum 100 points, Poles had to score 55 to pass, Southern Europeans 65, and Jews 85. Negroes and Orientals were not eligible for consideration, their disqualification being automatic."

Grosse Pointe in MI
The Grosse Pointe area was well-known for the point system, in which those deemed undesirable (non-Protestants, Eastern Europeans, etc.) had to amass more points in order to purchase a home. Realtors and the Grosse Pointe Property Owner's Association would sometimes hire private detectives, who would find answers to various questions, including "Appearances - swarthy, slightly swarthy, or not at all?" and "Accents - pronounced, medium, slight, not at all?" The maximum score for the survey was 100, with most prospective residents needing a score of 50.

However, according to Michigan Attorney General Paul Adams, "a Pole is expected to have five additional points. An Italian, Yugoslav, Greek, Syrian, Lebanese, Armenian, Maltese, Rumanian, or other southern European is required to have 15 additional points. A Jew is required to have 35 additional points and his points are more difficult to achieve because of penalties in a special marking system for Jews. Orientals and Negroes are not considered at all."

In 1960, William E. Bufalino Jr., a Jewish attorney from Detroit, sued the city for libel because he was branded "swarthy" and denied a home. The state of Michigan ordered the suburb to abandon the system within 30 days. However, there is some indication that it persisted officially until 1961, and possibly unofficially after that.

"'The most desirable neighborhood for the raising of children, according to these Grosse Pointe real estate dealers and brokers,' Rabbi [Leon] Fram said, 'is one in which the children shall never see a Negro except in the role of a porter or a shoe shine boy, never encounter any human being who believes in a faith other than Christianity, never hear a foreign accent.' He quoted the minister of a Grosse Pointe church as stating that 'Jesus Christ could never qualify for residence in Grosse Pointe.'" -"Klan Standards Prevail in G.P., Rabbi Charges", Detroit News, 14 May 1960

James Loewen on "sundown towns":
The practice of exclusion was usually quite open. Hundreds of towns posted signs. The Academy Award-winning movie of 1947, Gentleman's Agreement, was about the method by which Darien, Connecticut, one of the most prestigious suburbs of New York City, kept out Jews, and that publicity hardly ended the practice. In the 1960s, some residents of Edina, Minnesota, the most prestigious suburb of Minneapolis, boasted that their community had, as they put it, "Not one Negro and not one Jew."

[In Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic edited by Charles A. Gallagher, Cameron D. Lippard]

The Jew in American Politics (part 8): Jewish Voting Behavior: 1932-1967

Elsewhere in the book, Weyl is keen to point out that "only" on the order of 1% of American Jews were card-carrying members of the Communist Party. Here he acknowledges 15-20% of Jews supported the Communist-endorsed Henry A. Wallace in the 1948 election ("The raison d'etre of this third-party movement was to obtain continuing American support of the Soviet Union and American acquiescence in continuing Soviet aggression").

Other than that, we see the familiar pattern of Jews bloc-voting for Democratic candidates.

We also get to hear more about how the Jewish fight against freedom of association was purely the result of misguided universalism ('Another case of the Jewish voters cutting off their own noses was the vote in 1964 on various state and city "public accommodations" ordinances. These measures restricted or totally abolished the right of house and apartment owners to refuse to sell or rent on the basis of race. The purpose was to enable Negroes to move into previously white residential areas. Since residential discrimination against Jews had become pretty much of a dead letter, the Jewish interest was identical with that of the other whites. [. . .] In Detroit some Jewish districts voted ten-to-one against a homeowners' rights ordinance designed to permit landlords to sell or rent at their discretion. In Los Angeles, Jewish districts voted two-to-one against Proposition 14, a very similar measure, which was approved by California voters as a whole by a two-thirds majority.'). Since residential discrimination against Jews had diminished by this time, it's obviously impossible Jews maintained an overblown concern with suppressing freedom of association out of perceived self-interest.

The Jew in American Politics (part 7): Socialism, Communism and the Far Left

"The alien nature of American Communism was revealed by the complaint of its leader, Charles Ruthenberg, that in 1920 it didn't have five speakers able to present its case in the English language."

The Jew in American Politics (part 6): WWI to the great depression

Weyl probably overemphasizes the loyalty of Jewish voters to the Republican party between the Civil War and World War I. But he correctly notes that to the extent Jews assimilated, they became more conservative (not the reverse).

The Jew in American Politics (part 5): the "fight against anti-Semitism", 1880-1914

As mentioned, Weyl is at pains throughout the book to make clear Jewish leftists are not pursuing their perceived self-interests. Yet his book is filled with examples of Jews organizing to pursue their perceived self-interests, including especially to suppress "anti-Semitism".

The Jew in American Politics (part 4): abolitionism, utopian socialism, and anti-Semitism

Nathaniel Weyl, a Jewish Communist turned anti-Communist, is eager to persuade his Jewish (or, if we're being realistic, mostly non-Jewish) readers that the true interests of Jews lie with conservatism and that Jewish leftism is not motivated by Jewish pursuit of self-interest -- thus the focus on highlighting "anti-Semitism" on the left wherever possible and the emphasis on Karl Marx as a self-hating Jew.

But the following section is of interest mostly because it correctly situates American experiments in utopian socialism like Brook Farm (one of Moldbug's favorite "proofs" that leftism is really New England Puritanism) in their European context.

The Jew in American Politics (part 3): 1848ers

Arrival of the German Jews

A rapid expansion of population in Germany during the decades of peace following the Napoleonic wars resulted in mass emigration to America. Schedules of vessels departing for the United States were posted even in the most humble German towns and villages. The exodus was so immense that, in the course of barely two weeks, four thousand people left the small state of Baden alone. German Jews were part of this trek. They were subject to the same forces of overpopulation and economic need as their Christian neighbors. They had the additional goad of rampant discrimination, inability to get licenses as craftsmen and an atmosphere poisoned by anti-Semitism. [. . .]

The emigration was immensely accelerated by the crushing defeat of the liberal 1848 revolutions in Europe and the triumph of reaction. Up to 100,000 German Jews came to the United States in the twelve years between that event and the Civil War.

Jews had taken a prominent part in the leadership of the 1848 uprisings and a large majority of European Jewry had sympathized with them. Thus, Daniele Manin, a Catholic of Jewish ancestry, was the outstanding leader of the Venetian rising of 1848 and two Jews were members of the Cabinet of the short-lived Weimar Republic of that time. The Prussian National Assembly which proclaimed the new liberal constitution of 1848 had several Jews as members and elected one of them, Raphael Kosch, as its vice president. The more important Frankfurt parliament had at one time a Jewish president and a Jewish vice president. In Breslau, Berlin, Mainz, Worms, Cracow and Vienna, Jews were prominent in the 1848 struggle as military leaders, politicians and newspaper editors. In the last category was Karl Marx, the Jew-hating son of an apostate Jew. The Hungarian National Army under Louis Kossuth had no fewer than 20,000 enlisted Jewish soldiers in its ranks.l7

When the revolution was stifled throughout Europe, its Jewish and non-Jewish adherents turned increasingly toward the United States. Hence, the massive Jewish emigration of the 1840's and 1850's was politically selective.