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History Social History

European Racism: A History in Documents

(From the Broadview Sources Series)

edited by Lisa Todd & Gary Waite

Broadview Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2024
Social History, Race & Ethnic Relations, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


European Racism collects more than 130 primary sources—from religious tracts, legal codes, and government edicts, to novel excerpts, paintings, illustrations, and songs—to help readers trace the development and spread of racism in Europe from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The volume is organized into six sections revealing how Europeans developed racist attitudes toward various groups: Jews, Muslims, Black Africans, Asians, the Romani, and global Indigenous Peoples. Sources demonstrate how racism intersects with gender roles, sexual identities, economic status, religious affiliation, national origin, and military alliances, and include examples of historical anti-racist resistance.

There is a general volume introduction and six section introductions, and 42 illustrations; brief headnotes accompany each document; and marginal glossing throughout helps students with unfamiliar references and terminology. An alternative table of contents presents documents chronologically.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Lisa M. Todd is Professor and Chair of Historical Studies at the University of New Brunswick. She is the author of Sexual Treason in Germany during the First World War and co-editor of A Cultural History of War in the Modern Age.

Gary K. Waite is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of New Brunswick. He is the author of several books, including Jews and Muslims in Seventeenth-Century Discourse: From Religious Enemies to Allies and Friends, and co-editor of Exile and Religious Identities, 1500–1800.

Editorial Reviews

“This superb and wide-ranging collection demonstrates how racist discourses never emerge in isolation but feed and bleed on one other. Science, religion, and humanitarian care are all invoked in overtly high-minded rationales supporting programs of protection and purification, but the underlying motivations are consistently low, violent, purgative, and exploitative. The editors have sourced pamphlets, letters, laws, treatises, images, and news reports across the range of subjects and periods to show how these ideas spread across genres and periods. Each section and document is carefully framed with explanations that clarify terms and contexts, identify antecedents, parallels, and outcomes, and demonstrate how Europeans constructed, projected, and weaponized ‘race’ from the ancient to the modern period. An indispensable resource for anyone wanting to understand, research, or teach how Europeans have thought, written, and acted on race.” — Nicholas Terpstra, University of Toronto

“A timely and useful collection of documents that span an enormous range and offer a comprehensive accounting of the varieties of racism perpetrated in Europe over hundreds of years. Well-chosen documents and clearly written introductions make this an ideal companion for teaching and a valuable resource for students.” — Philippa Levine, The University of Texas at Austin