The Myth of a “Lost White Tribe” That Created a Global Racial Caste System

Pseudo-Scientific Theories About a "Perfect" Race Still Drive Ethnic Violence Today

18th-century German anatomist Johann Blumenbach kept a collection of 250 human skulls, but he found one skull particularly enchanting. “My beautiful typical head of a young Georgian female,” he wrote, “always of itself attracts every eye.”

Blumenbach kindled scientific interest in whiteness when he claimed to have found five distinct varieties of humankind in his collection. While he thought these varieties—which he called “races” in 1795—were more or less equal in character and intelligence, Blumenbach ranked them in terms of what he saw as their physical perfection.

Taken from the body …

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What the Path of Curry Tells Us About Globalization

Courtesy of the British Empire, the Spice Was Used to Pay Indian Workers Brought to South America to Replace African Slaves

One Sunday morning in 1993, “Bushman,” “Spider,” “Tall Boy,” and “Crab Dog” were gathered at a rum shop in the Guyanese coastal village of Mahaica. The rainy season had driven …

How Tea Became a Weapon in Darjeeling’s Ethnic Struggle

An Indian Minority's Push for Independence Has Roots in the British Empire's Divide and Conquer Policies

Darjeeling tea is a world-renowned product that reliably flows from India’s highlands, where it has been grown for more than a century. But since early this summer, none of it …

Is India’s Rise Creating a Global Health Crisis?

The Country's Hospitals, Rivers, and Even Chickens Are Becoming a Source of Antibiotic Resistance

A 59-year-old man from India, who was living in Sweden, visited New Delhi in late 2007, where he was hospitalized for an infection and treated with an array of antibiotics. …

How Mexico and India Fused in My L.A. Kitchen

A Friendship Reveals Two Cultures That Are Distant but Simpatico

It’s a paradox, both of our globalized culture and of Los Angeles: My mother’s quest to cook authentic Indian food when she visits here has taught me a lot about …

How India’s Nonviolent Resistance Became a Shifting Global Movement

From Gandhi to MLK to the Arab Spring, Nonviolence Is Portable, but Can It Still Persuade?

Early in the 20th century, M.K. Gandhi began to experiment with a novel form of political action, which he termed satyagraha. Gandhi first used satyagraha to protect the rights of …