About the book, from the publisher:
The very ubiquity of race and racial discussions encourages the general public to accept the power it exerts as natural and to allow the process by which it has assumed such authority to remain unquestioned. In this study, Denise McCoskey explains the position of race today by unveiling its relation to structures of thought and practice in classical antiquity. This study thus attempts both to account for the role of race in the classical world and also to trace the intricate ways Greek and Roman racial ideologies continue to resonate in modern life. McCoskey uncovers the assorted frameworks that organized and classified human diversity more fundamentally in antiquity. Along the way, she highlights the noteworthy intersections of race with other important social structures, such as gender and class. Underlining the role of race in shaping the ancient world, she ultimately turns to the influence of ancient racial formation on the modern world as well, an influence mediated by the receptions and appropriations of classical antiquity, borrowings that serve to shore up modernity and its continuing, albeit complex, juxtapositions of past and present. In this deft study, McCoskey provides a touchstone for thinking more critically about race's many sites of operation in both ancient and modern eras.