Fatal Invention

How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century

Hailed as “essential reading” by Danny Glover and “a triumph!” by Harriet Washington, a groundbreaking critique of an emerging racial science, by the award-winning author of Killing the Black Body

“This is the best book of the year. . . . If you read one work of nonfiction a year, make it this one.” —The New York Journal of Books

This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of the biological concept of race—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and “provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics by one of the nation’s leading legal scholars and social critics.


Fatal Invention is a triumph!”
—Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid and Deadly Monopolies
“Devastatingly counters any argument that can be made for a racial view of genetics.”
The Brooklyn Rail
“A major, groundbreaking assessment of race and bioethics.”
Midwest Book Review
“Thought-provoking, well-researched, [and] insightful.”
“This is the best book of the year. . . . If you read one work of nonfiction a year, make this the one.”
The New York Journal of Books
“This book meets an urgent need. . . . [A] herculean effort in fleshing out the biopolitics of race.”
Biopolitical Times
“[Roberts] dismantles the reasons for using race to determine health policy and exposes how embedded social assumptions can shape medicine’s research agenda and distort science.”
Ms. Magazine
—Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of Racism Without Racists
“A must-read for those looking for an enlightened discussion of race in the 21st century.”
Library Journal