Breeding Between the Lines: Why Interracial People are Healthier and more Attractive
By Alon Ziv
Barricade Books 2006
Reprint Edition 2016
Reviewer: Susan Graham
I missed the original printing of this book in 2006, but I thought I would like it when it was released in a second edition ten years later. I never did expect to like the title. It left me disliking the term “breeding,” as if it were about farm animals. It made me wonder if Interracial (sic) people are healthier and more attractive than Who? Just what was the comparison? It didn’t make me want to buy the book for the answer. Still, I went in fully expecting to give this crazy little book with the horrid title a chance.
The author says in the acknowledgments that “Breeding Between the Lines is based on the research of countless scientists.” Without having the advantage of actually seeing the research, we are not only asked to accept their work and encouraged to not question the results. The author calls this process “scientific literacy.”
Ziv starts right out with The Origin of the Species, trying to lay the foundation for his own book, which flops because the author is trying to get to the disconnect between scientists and non-scientists. What he really intends is to launch the debate between the advocates for the multiracial population and the academics for mixed-race studies. Or does he? It’s hard to say just what this book intends to do.
A large portion of the book is devoted to genetic and physical advantages multiracial people are expected to have because of “symmetrical features,” as if this is an eleventh commandment. Selective breeding is presented in its history and the author’s hope for its future. It wouldn’t be a book about race if “But race is just a social construct!” didn’t appear. The author intends to show that race is not just a social construct—it’s a biological construct, but other books have done a much better job at discussions about how different races suffer from different diseases.
Ziv throws in the Rachel Dolezal fiasco when she was president of the Spokane NAACP and jumps to President Obama’s chosen racial identity, all in an effort to present something new so this book could claim to be a second edition with additional information. It digresses from its intended premise over and over again. Don’t waste your time with Breeding Between the Lines. On the other hand, if you liked the title, you just might love the book.