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Social Darwinism in European and American Thought, 1860-1945: Nature as Model and Nature as Threat Paperback – March 13, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0521574341 ISBN-10: 052157434X Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052157434X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521574341
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hawkins provides a keen analysis of Social Darwinism in an important and thought-provoking work that will surely become the standard work on the subject for some time to come. It is a superb corrective to the fairly popular revisionist interpretation of Social Darwinism propagated by Robert Bannister and others....Hawkins has provided a useful definition and analysis of Social Darwinism on which future scholarship can build....his work is useful and can serve as a springboard for further study. It will also serve as a useful text in a variety of courses in the history of science and intellectual history." Richard Weikart, H-Net Reviews

"...this is an erudite book that deserves to be read. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and above." P. Kivisto, Choice

"Mike Hawkins has produced a comprehensive, informative, and useful review of the emergence and development of Social Darwinism in American and European thought. He has succeeded in showing that Social Darwinism constitues a world view that is much more complex and multifaceted than is often recognized." Richard Machalek, Cithara

"We are fortunate to have this sweeping and accessible survey." Terence Hall, The Annals of the American Academy

"This new book by Mike Hawkins is valuable because it offers a clear and cogent explanation of the meaning and history of Scoial Darwinism." Larry Arnhart, Politics and the Life Sciences

Book Description

This original and wide-ranging study clarifies the meaning of Social Darwinism and demonstrates its relevance through a study of European and American social and political thinkers. It is the only study of Social Darwinism which combines the study of individual thinkers with the distinctive ideological themes (e.g., eugenics) and does so in a comprehensive historical and comparative framework. A wide spectrum of academic readers will enjoy Dr Hawkins' lucid and subtle analysis and find it a useful guide through a difficult and complex subject.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1997
Format: Paperback
This extensive exploration of Social Darwinism by Mike Hawkinsshould be regarded as another step, one of arguable modernity thoughpotentially groundbreaking, in the field of recurrent re-assessments of the impact of Darwin's theories on contemporary civilization. The challenge facing Hawkins is certainly no easy matter : defining a happy medium between so-called revisionist approaches (cf. Robert Bannister et al.) and more familiar, if not classic, approaches (cf. Richard Hofstadter). From this perspective, Mike Hawkins' work deserves much attention and interest as a new thought-provoking basis for further research on Social Darwinism. Hawkins' theory, however, can hardly be regarded as radically modern since it fails, and not only by using the conventional lexicon of Darwinian rhetoric, to establish itself as a specifically new interpretation. For instance, his argument that the various turn-of-the-century appeals to Social Darwinism were not always intellectually coherent, as shown by the way socialists and pacifists alike used it, actually supports the theories developed by Robert Bannister. Conversely, one may detect a number of Hofstadter-like lines of thought aimed at fending off "revisionist" approaches. Hawkins more often than not tends to reshuffle the cards rather than to propose a truly new game. This, however does not mean that his interpretation is uninteresting : Hawkins' great merit is also to assemble fragmentary conceptions scattered in time (cf. his analyses of 20th developments) and space (cf. his contributions to the study of European versions of Social Darwinism). His theories will certainly confront most readers' own understanding of a number of aspects in Social Darwinism, which certainly represents a progressive approach to such a widely debated issue.Read more ›
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very helpful to both beginning scholars and experts in the area, because it exposes (and maps many of) the complexities involved characterizing the notion of social Darwinism.
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