Book revieWs the PoPuLation knoWLeDge netWork (eds.), 2016, Twentieth Century Population Thinking: A Critical Reader of Primary Sources, London and New York, Routledge, 246 p. The title of this volume in the Advances in Sociology series edited by the Population Knowledge Network, a European collective of historians founded in 2011, is somewhat misleading: the book's subject is in fact the scientific, social and political history of population in the twentieth century. In French academic study, history of "knowledge" and history of "doctrines and policies" are kept relatively separate, whereas here they are closely linked. The aim is to expose the "circumstances under which scientific knowledge about `population' was produced, how demography evolved as a discipline, and how demographic developments were interpreted and discussed in different political and cultural settings" (blurb). To this end, the book goes well beyond presenting annotated primary sources. In addition to the general introduction, there are eight highly informed essays, complete with historiographical clarifications and selected bibliographies for further reading. By opting to problematize the readings, and skilfully engaging dialogue between the sources and the critical essays, the authors have avoided presenting a flat series of monothematic sections. And readers can use the index
Population, English edition – Institut national d'études démographiques
Published: May 11, 2017
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