Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction

Eugenics A Very Short Introduction In Francis Galton a cousin of Charles Darwin coined the word eugenics to express his dream of perfecting the human race by applying the laws of genetic heredity Adapting Darwin s theory of evo

  • Title: Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction
  • Author: Philippa Levine
  • ISBN: 9780199385904
  • Page: 486
  • Format: Paperback
  • Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction

    In 1883, Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, coined the word eugenics to express his dream of perfecting the human race by applying the laws of genetic heredity Adapting Darwin s theory of evolution to human society, eugenics soon became a powerful, international movement, committed to using the principles of heredity and statistics to encourage healthy and discIn 1883, Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, coined the word eugenics to express his dream of perfecting the human race by applying the laws of genetic heredity Adapting Darwin s theory of evolution to human society, eugenics soon became a powerful, international movement, committed to using the principles of heredity and statistics to encourage healthy and discourage unhealthy reproduction Early in the twentieth century and across the world, doctors, social reformers, and politicians turned to the new science of eugenics as a means to improve and strengthen their populations Eugenics advocates claimed their methods would result in healthier, fitter babies and would dramatically limit human suffering The reality was a different story In the name of scientific progress and of human improvement, eugenicists targeted the weak and the sick, triggering coercive legislation on issues as disparate as race, gender, immigration, euthanasia, abortion, sterilization, intelligence, mental illness, and disease control Nationalists eagerly embraced eugenics as a means to legitimize their countries superiority and racialized assumptions, and the Nazis notoriously used eugenics to shape their final solution In this lucid volume, Philippa Levine tackles the intricate and controversial history of eugenics, masterfully synthesizing the enormous range of policies and experiments carried out in the name of eugenics around the world throughout the twentieth century She questions the widespread belief that eugenics disappeared after World War II and evaluates the impact of eugenics on current reproductive and genetic sciences Charting the development of such controversial practices as artificial insemination, sperm donation, and population control, this book offers a powerful, extraordinarily timely reflection on the frequent interplay between genetics and ethics Eugenics may no longer be a household word, but we feel its effects even today.

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    One thought on “Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction

    1. Rhapsody Phoenix

      Very good read, a good breakdown on the origination of the creation of the human construct of Race, "Superior/inferior dialectic, racist ideology and practices and the invention of laws to lend legitimacy and validate atrocities against those deem "inferior". You see the creation of the "white race" the preservation of the "race" birthing ideals manifesting to the likes of hilter, mass forced sterilization across the world including US and Canada. You see the reasoned madness foreshadowing of wh [...]

    2. Judy

      Brilliant. Well researched and presented in a clear way. When a small group of people determine who is "best" to be fit to live, then create a pseudo-science backed by wealthy donors create a policy to make sure some are born and some are not. And it is not over ,now that we have genetic enhancements and amniocentesis. Recommended to anyone who likes history, feminism, racism, mass brainwashing , classism and science fiction writers and readers

    3. Per Kraulis

      Very good brief description of eugenics. Main features covered, with attempts at describing influence of eugenics world-wide, not just in Europe and USA. Of course, due to the brevity of this text, some aspects and developments were rather sketchy. The narrative was mainly chronological, but diverged into more thematic discussion, which was occasionally confusing. Nevertheless, I would recommend this booklet.

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