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The Cultivation of Whiteness


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
The Temperate South
1. Antipodean Britons 11
2. A Cultivated Society 41
The Northern Tropics
3. No Place for a White Man 73
4. The Making of the Tropical White Man 95
5. White Triumph in the Tropics? 139
6. Whitening the Nation 165
Aboriginal Australia
7. From Deserts the Prophets Come 191
8. The Reproductive Frontier 225
Conclusion: Biology and Nation 253
Abbreviations 259
Notes 261
Bibliography of Works Cited 329
Index 381

About the Author

Warwick Anderson teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is Chair of the Department of Medical History and Bioethics; Robert Turell Professor of Medical History and Population Health; and Professor of the History of Science, Science and Technology Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies. He is the author of Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines, also published by Duke University Press.


"The Cultivation of Whiteness is a beautifully written, extensively researched, and conceptually robust account of what it meant to be white in Australia from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century."-Elizabeth A. Povinelli, author of The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality
"The Cultivation of Whiteness is an unusual and well-crafted history, a model of method for historical and anthropological studies of medicine and public health."-Judith Farquhar, author of Appetites: Food and Sex in Post-Socialist China
"Warwick Anderson is one of the foremost historians of medicine and postcolonialism and The Cultivation of Whiteness one of the most detailed and persuasive explorations of exactly how scientific medicine is influenced by, and in turn promotes, racialization and racism."-Priscilla Wald, Duke University
"This broad-ranging study builds on a considerable body of local research to produce the first comprehensive history of Australian medical and scientific ideas about race from the early nineteenth century to the 1940s. It is a work of major significance. Anderson has written both an authoritative and prescient synthesis and a work of original research, utilizing the letters, journals, publications, and other surviving documentation of local medical practitioners and scientists. It is a work distinguished by command of its field and clarity of exposition." -- Andrew Markus * American Historical Review *
"[Anderson] writes with passion, wit, and panache, and the principal virtues of The Cultivation of Whiteness are the old-fashioned ones of thoroughness, accuracy, and impeccable documentation. . . . [His] sensitive study is a model of how contentious historical issues can be confronted." -- W. F. Bynum * TLS *

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