"An impressive book, providing a new slant on Victorian anthropology and an interesting case study of scientific observation."—Social History of Medicine
"A valuable contribution to the history of the 'study of man' over the long nineteenth century. Sera-Shriar gives us an intellectual lineage from Prichard to Tylor, opening up new ways of thinking about a form of thought that undoubtedly lay at the heart of imperial expansion and governance."
—Sujit Sivasundaram, University of Cambridge
"What makes for trustworthy observations? And who counts as a trustworthy observer? In this important book, Sera-Shriar reveals how far public disagreement over these questions shaped ethnology and anthropology in Britain during a period often dismissed as the age of the 'armchair observer.' In so doing he not only enriches our understanding of the history of anthropology but also shows by example how to historicize the apparently timeless arts of scientific observation.”
—Gregory Radick, University of Leeds