Gustave Le Bon

The Influence of Race in History

The Influence of Race in History and other writings on race, intelligence and cranial capacity. By Gustave Le Bon. Four important works which provided the first major scientific proof of the importance of race in civilization, and the correlation between brain volume, race intelligence, and achievement, written by the famous French founder of the science of crowd psychology.

“The Influence of Race in History” analyzes the role of race in influencing history, pointing out that group psychology, and not anatomical characteristics, are the real racial divides, and that “peoples whose mental constitution is similar will have similar destinies when they are placed in analogous circumstances.”

“How Races and Peoples Transform their Civilizations” shows, with examples, how culture is not directly transferrable between races, and that higher culture can never be transferred to those races who were incapable of creating it in the first place.

“Anatomical and Mathematical Researches into the Laws of the Variations of Brain Volume and their Relation to Intelligence” is without question one of the most significant and all-encompassing studies on human brain and skull volume and their relation to intelligence, for which the author was awarded prizes by the French Academy of Sciences and the Anthropology Society of Paris. In this paper, Le Bon proves conclusively the existence of differences in cranial capacity and brain volume between races, and between different levels of intelligence within any given race.

“On the Capacity of the Skulls of a Certain Number of Celebrated Men” provides further examples of leading men who prove the conclusions of the link between cranial capacity and Civilizational achievement.

Le Bon’s key findings included:

“What really constitutes the superiority of one race over another is that the superior race contains many more voluminous skulls than the inferior race;”

“The differences in skull capacity that one observes among the diverse categories of individuals of the same race do not appear to be attributable to causes other than the level of intelligence;”

“The considerable differences of the brain weight or skull volume between individuals of the same race vary substantially from one race to another, and these differences become greater and greater as the race rises up the ladder of civilization.”

172 pages. Paperback.

About the author: Charles-Marie Gustave le Bon (1841–1931) was one of France’s most famous polymaths, who wrote and studied extensively in the fields of anthropology, psychology, and science. His best-known work was The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, which laid the foundation for the modern science of the study of crowd psychology.

Translated by Robert K. Stevenson.


Additional information

Weight 8.1 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.36 × 9 in

Gustave Le Bon

You may also like…