• List Price: $45.00
  • Save: $2.25 (5%)
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Picture Imperfect: Photog... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by Wordery USA
Condition: :
Comment: International shipping available. This fine copy is in our depot and should be with you within 7-8 working days via Air Mail.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Picture Imperfect: Photography and Eugenics, 1879–1940 Paperback – April 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1845194154 ISBN-10: 1845194152

Buy New
Price: $42.75
28 New from $29.93 10 Used from $29.95
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$29.93 $29.95
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

"The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower"
The Hundred-Year Marathon is a wake-up call as we face the greatest national security challenge of the 21st century. See more recent releases about diplomacy
$42.75 FREE Shipping. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Picture Imperfect: Photography and Eugenics, 1879–1940 + Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine
Price for both: $66.30

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

Editorial Reviews


“Maxwell traces the role of photography in the rise and fall of the eugenics movement. Photos helped promote diverse agendas from British scientist Francis Galton’s first use of the medium to depict the new ‘science’ of human breeding to the Nazis’ justification of their master race ideology and infamous policies. Eugenics also gained popularity in the U.S. in an era of socioeconomic upheaval. The author shows how counter-racial purity images by German anthropologist Franz Boas and African American sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois, among others, led to the discrediting of scientific racism.”  —Reference & Research Book News

“With well over 100 photographs to support the analysis, this examination of the influence of photography on the eugenics movement adds an important chapter to the history of better breeding. Focusing mainly on the UK, U.S., and Germany, Maxwell divides her book into three sections: a history of the movement; how advocates used photographs to educate the public about the need to sterilize the “unfit”; and how a group composed mostly of anthropologists used photographs to refute the arguments made by eugenicists. She notes that in the early 1900s the photograph was seen as capturing reality and revealing truth. The eugenic mug shot, the favourite type of picture used by proponents, reframed reality for those persons already troubled by the social disruption caused by rapid industrialization, and frightened by the increasing number of immigrants who arrived to work in industrial factories. Eugenicists played to the emotions of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants who feared that they were losing control of their world. Thus, by placing structural analysis of the visual archive of the movement demonstrates that, in this case, a picture was worth a thousand words. Recommended.”  —Choice

“Anne Maxwell’s book Picture Imperfect provides an excellent introduction to the role of photography in the eugenicist’s propaganda. In her study, Maxwell examines the topic of eugenics through the lenses of anthropology, sociology, and the history of scientific racism. . . . This book is an exceptional examination of the use of photography within the eugenic movement from the end of the nineteenth century up to the start of the Second World War. The numerous photographs selected for inclusion in the text are superb. Their reproduction is very good. For those interested in eugenics and scientific racism this book would be a valuable addition to their library. It is written for the academic and the interested general reader with some knowledge of eugenics.”  —Canadian Journal of History

About the Author

Anne Maxwell is a senior lecturer in the school of culture and communications at the University of Melbourne where she teaches courses on literary criticism and cultural studies. She has published widely in the fields of colonial visual cultures and colonial and postcolonial literature. She is the author of Colonial Photography and Exhibitions: Representations of the ‘Native’ and the Making of European Identities.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Share your thoughts with other customers

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.