Apes, Men & Morons

HOOTON, Earnest Albert. Apes, Men & Morons.

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Presentation copy to an ideological opponent

HOOTON, Earnest Albert. Apes, Men & Morons. New York: G. Putnam's Sons. 1937.

8vo. Original cloth and wrapper; pp. 307; wrapper a little chipped to edges, very good. Provenance: ffep inscribed by the author "To my prickly/ friend M.F. Ashley Montagu". Hooton did indeed have an awkward relationship with the great anthropologist Ashley Montagu (1905-1999). It was through Hooton that he gained his entrance to American academia after emigrating from Britain in 1931, but Montagu was utterly opposed to the concept of race, while Hooton's work centred on the measuring of the differences between 'races'. Only 3 years after the gift of this book from Hooton to Montagu, the latter co-authored a paper with Robert Merton called 'Crime and the Anthropologist' which demolished the former's methodology of measuring the typology of criminals. Tucked into this book is a cutting from the Boston Herald dated 15th January 1943 discussing Hooton's possible Nazi sympathies, annotated in pencil probably by Montagu.
First edition. A book that starts out as an examination of the evolution of humans from apes becomes an examination of racial types and the causes of cures of 'degenerative trends'. Hooton is a proud advocate of eugenics, although he is at pains to dissociate himself from the 'nonsense of Nordicism' (p. 230) which he feels has polluted the movement.