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.Jon Entine specializes in sports and race, business ethics, socially responsible investing, and green brand marketing.

Review Excerpts

From African-Americans:

"You will be accused of spouting old fashion racism for even raising the issue of African American superiority in athletics. All this beating around the bush has to stop. This is a good book. I am quite excited with the arguments that are raised."

Earl Smith, Wake Forest University, chairman, dept of sociology and ethnic studies, book review editor of Sociology of Sport Journal, board member of North American Society of Sports Sociologists, leading African-American scholar and author of several books on race and sports including The Sporting World of African-American Athletes: From Jackie Roosevelt Robinson to Eldrick "Tiger" Woods

"These are the words I would use to describe the book: compelling, bold, comprehensive, informative, enlightening, controversial, impressive compilation of information and facts. Your work confirmed some of my own beliefs about race science."

Gary Sailes, Indiana University professor of kinesiology, editor of the Journal of the African American Male

"This book will make a major contribution to the literature on race and sport – from ignorance, fear, bias and stereotypes to scientific study. This book is well-balanced because it provides arguments from several sides and uses a variety of sources. And it has an impressive bibliography for those who want to become engaged in more in-depth research. Given the political and controversial nature of this book it is indeed brave, compelling and comprehensive. This book will become a must-read for those who are truly interested in the scholarly analysis and discussion of race and sport."

Richard Majors, University of Manchester (UK) sociologist and fellow, author of Cool Pose: The Dilemmas of Black Manhood in America

"Taboo is a necessary addition to the research on sport and race. It is a controversial piece that should stimulate the waters in this critical area of sport and race relations. It will be a book that I will use for graduate and undergraduate courses in the sociology of sport."

Billy Hawkins, University of Georgia professor of kinesiology at the School of Health and Human Performance, author of The Dominant Images of Black Men in America: The O.J. Simpson Example and The White Supremacy Continuum of Images for Black Men.

Other North American Reviews:

"The material is carefully researched and intellectually honest while in the same moment, narrative and anecdotal enough to stimulate and maintain the interest of a broad base of readers. You have developed a vehicle that will open doors…. [Taboo] has the potential to stimulate a far ranging and meaningful dialogue on race."

Jay T. Kearney, US Olympic Committee senior sports physiologist, Sport Science and Technology Division

"The book is excellent. Taboo addresses a difficult topic for our American society. We have frequently been unwilling to confront the issue about the "emperor’s new clothes." And while ‘racism’ is a disgusting, abhorrent concept, we have as a society tried to ignore it rather than examine it. Taboo provides an excellent opportunity to present these biases and stereotypes by using sports as the vehicle. You have carefully crafted and even-handedly presented data in a manner that should promote the opportunity for discussions, debate and open dialogue. You were able to present an extremely difficult topic in an unbiased forum. I believe it is particularly unique because sports generate interest in readers across nearly all socio-economic levels. It will be a catalyst for dialogue, debate and open discussion."

Gideon Ariel, founder and former director of USOC’s Computer Science and Biomechanics Division, former Israeli Olympic shot-putter (1964)

"Taboo is a fascinating account of the history, controversies, and investigations of the rise and success of black athletes. In the US, it is often avoided in case the speaker or writer is branded as "racist." You have crafted a debate with ample exposure of many points of view. The book will help readers to gain a greater understanding and to see it as a multifaceted problem. Most publications have been rather one-sided, whereas you have provided a balanced perspective with consideration of many approaches. There are usually no easy answers to your questions, but you have melded the discussion to provide the knowledge and facts from the exercise and sports sciences as well as from the sociology of sport. You have not been afraid to critique sound or unsound science, as well as well-meaning or misguided politics and sociology."

J.E. Lindsay Carter, Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Education, San Diego State University professor emeritus of exercise and nutritional sciences, author of Physical Structure of Olympic Athletes (1982) and Kinanthropometry of Olympic Athletes (1984)

"I believe that you raise a number of currently relevant issues that our society needs to address openly and objectively."

Robert Malina, Michigan State University Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, professor and director, professor of Kinesiology

"Jon Entine shows a lot of courage in publishing Taboo. Even though we still do not have all the answers about the average differences between Blacks and Whites and other human groups in athletic abilities or in the genetic polymorphisms that could account for innate differences in sport performance, if any, he makes the case that it is legitimate to ask such questions using the modern tools of exercise science, human biology, molecular biology and genetics. Of course, he is right. We should not have such difficulty in discussing openly one of the most fascinating chapters in the study of human diversity. I hope that the book is well received and that it fosters a constructive dialogue on these issues.

Claude Bouchard, Laval University (Quebec City) geneticist and exercise physiologist, Research Chair on Obesity, Professor and Chair, Department of Kinetics.

"Taboo blends a powerful journalistic style with an acute sense of history and a balanced skepticism in asking unpleasant questions of scientists and sociologists alike, which both sides will ultimately need to address if they are to jointly ward off the ideologues and demagogues. We can no longer afford to ignore the renaissance of synthetic approaches to the science and sociology of race, even as biologists join their social science colleagues in questioning the very existence of racial categories as traditionally and popularly defined."

Michael Speirs, University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Swarthmore College Department of Anthropology and Sociology

"Taboo provides a wonderful opportunity to share with the public a message of the importance of human biological and cultural diversity in its myriad forms and mechanisms. It clearly dispenses with the notion that athleticism in Africans or African-Americans is entirely due only to biology or only to culture. Biological variation in complex traits is always a result of their interaction. Any dialogue or understanding between different racial groups should start with the facts. Scientific information should not be suppressed from the public because it would erode trust and generate suspicions. Taboo will contribute to the dialogue between ethnicities because "it tells it like it is!"

Michael Crawford, University of Kansas professor of biological anthropology and genetics, editor of the Journal of Human Biology

"Taboo uses sport as a vehicle for examining racism and our society. It is carefully crafted and the even-handed presentation of carefully researched data should lift dialog from biases and stereotypes to examining the real issues facing us today. It is a must-read for those who take our society and its current problems and prospects very seriously."

Roger Kaufman, Florida State University professor and director of the Center for Needs Assessment and Planning

"Taboo does an enormous service to "common sense" by brining this taboo topic out of the closet. It is very catchily written with lots of human interest quotes and change of pace."

J. Phillipe Rushton, University of Western Ontario professor of psychology, author of Race, Evolution, and Behavior

Foreign Reviews:

"I believe that Taboo is one of the most important contributions that I have read on the topic of race and sport. It is careful, intellectually-honest, indeed brave attempt to provide facts to displace the prejudice, in this case, the prejudice of not wanting to address what is obvious, because of some perceived negative consequences.

Perhaps most importantly, it addresses not only the broad issue of "race" and sport, but also the reason why the topic is considered too politically sensitive to be discussed, at least in the United States. I too believe that racial stereotypes are destructive and we have to find what is common amongst the different populations of the world, if we are to make the most of our individual and collective lives. We must take pride in the special attributes that make the different population groups different and not try to make everyone conform to some perceived norm.

Taboo begins to quantify the real differences in sporting abilities between the very best performers in the different sports. It provides real data from which it is possible to make an educated guess of the extend to which those differences are likely to be in-born or due to environmental differences. You touch on many areas that have previously been ignored. As a result, you make a significant contribution to the debate about racism as it affects Europe and North America. It also encourages individual readers to address their own racist views (which are universally present regardless of what any one might profess) and that could just be its most valuable contribution.

Timothy Noakes, American College of Sports Medicine Fellow; director of the Bioenergetics of Exercise Research Unit and the Sports Science Institute at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; runner of more than 100 marathons, and author of the best-seller, The Lore of Running

"Congratulations. You have brought together a wealth of both anecdotal and scientific information in a palatable form that will stimulate discussion and debate. Too often are such topics discussed at dinner parties, with only individual’s opinions aired. Too many sweeping generalisations on this topic have been made on the basis of a commentator’s uninformed opinion alone. To withhold information from the public on the basis of it being racial in nature is indeed racist and regressive.

The bottom line is that we compare young with old, we compare individuals who have sickle cell anaemia with those who don’t, we compare the obese with the non-obese, and we compare those who are susceptible to diabetes with those who are not. Some of these comparisons have genetic foundations and some don’t. This is purely a scientific question – one that will tell us more about determinants of elite athletic performance."

Adele Weston, School of Exercise and Sport Science, The University of Sydney, Australia

"Taboo opens up the subject of race and sport for a more informed public debate than has been possible hitherto. It provides several sides to the argument (nature or nurture) and uses a variety of sources, both pro and contra. It sets an agenda for debate. It encourages debate but from a well-informed base position. This book draws on an impressive bibliography. But it is supplemented with fascinating interviews with key actors on the ‘ethnic stage’ and is presented in a user-friendly way."

John Bale, Keele University (UK) professor of sports geography, author of Kenyan Running, The Global Sports Arena and other books on international sports

"I want to congratulate you. You have assembled an enormous amount of information and written a well-documented and well-balanced account of biological and sociological explanations of the superiority of Black Athletes in a variety of sports. Moreover, you have managed to find an excellent mix of scientific explanations and background with anecdotal and bibliographic information about black athletes. Taboo reads like a novel."

Gaston Beunen, Catholic University professor of Kinesiology, director of the Center for Physical Development Research, Human Biology Council (US), Society for Research in Child Development, European Anthropological Society, Research Committee of International Council of Sport and Physical Education