Gobineau, Joseph Arthur, comte de

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Gobineau, Joseph Arthur, comte de

(zhôzĕf` ärtür` kôNt də gōbēnō`), 1816–82, French diplomat and man of letters. The chief early French proponent of the theory of Nordic supremacy, he was antidemocratic and anti-Semitic. His major work was Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines (1853–55, tr. The Inequality of Human Races, 1915). He also wrote short stories, notably Nouvelles asiatiques (1876, tr. Five Oriental Tales, 1925).