This work was the first modern attempt to prove that race is the primary force determining world events and history. Working with the limited scientific data available at the time of writing (1853), de Gobineau divided humans into three major groupings, white, yellow and black. He argues that the cause of the downfall of civilizations is always racial mixing, and that every civilization has either been directly controlled by what he called Aryans or has had a significant Aryan element mixed in it. He argues that climate and environment have no bearing on racial characteristics. This book was a cornerstone work for 20th century racial theory, and is of immense importance for this reason alone. This is a hand edited copy which contains none of the OCR errors which mar other versions.