chapter  Chapter 20
19 Pages

Looking Jewish, Seeing Jews

WithMatthew F. Jacobson

WHEN JOHANN BLUMENBACH sat down to delineate The Natural Varieties of Man in 1775, he lighted upon the “racial face” of the Jews as the most powerful example of “the unadulterated countenance of nations.” The principle of stable racial types was illustrated “above all [by] the nation of the Jews, who, under every climate, remain the same as far as the fundamental configuration of face goes, remarkable for a racial character almost universal, which can be distinguished at the first glance even by those little skilled in physiognomy.” 1