Arthur de Gobineau  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Joseph Arthur de Gobineau (14 July 1816 – 13 October 1882) was a French aristocrat who is best known today for helping to legitimise racism by use of scientific racist theory and "racial demography" and for his developing the theory of the Aryan master race. Known to his contemporaries as a novelist, diplomat and travel writer, Gobineau was an elitist who, in the immediate aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848, wrote a 1400-page book, An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, in which he claimed that aristocrats were superior to commoners and that they possessed more Aryan genetic traits because of less interbreeding with inferior races (Alpines and Mediterraneans).

Gobineau's writings were quickly praised by white supremacist, pro-slavery Americans like Josiah C. Nott and Henry Hotze, who translated his book into English but omitted around 1000 pages of the original book, including those parts that negatively described Americans as a racially mixed population. Gobineau's writings were also influential on prominent anti-Semites such as Richard Wagner, Wagner's son-in-law Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the Romanian politician professor A. C. Cuza, and leaders of the Nazi Party, who later edited and re-published his work.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Arthur de Gobineau" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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