Blood Relations: Blood Groups and Anthropology

by A. E. Mourant. vi + 146 pages, illustrated. Oxford University Press, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016. 1984. $29.50

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  • Chief of Pathology Fallston General Hospital, Fallston, Maryland 21047
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In this book Dr. Mourant chose economically from abundant material available in the literature as well as topics discussed in his previous books on population genetics. The result is a volume, modest in size only, which will be of special interest to those who would like to gain insight on how blood grouping can be applied to the study of populations.

Intended for readers without immunohematology background, this text definitively meets their need for information. Thus, Chapter 2 (“Elementary Genetics”) gives an easy to follow, unambiguous introduction to genetics. The author's attempt in the same chapter to expand into markers other than blood groups, i.e., red cell enzyme systems and hemoglobin variants, is rather brief and may not be entirely understood by readers who lack familiarity with the subject.

Chapters 3 through 5 are devoted to the description of blood groups in Africa, Asia and Europe. A detailed catalogue of blood group distribution data is correlated with linguistic, historic and anthropometric evidence and population migration events.