- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (July 21, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674445570
- ISBN-13: 978-0674445574
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity Reprint Edition
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In the 19th century, when the idea of eugenics (selective breeding to generate superior members of a species) was invited off the farm and into the parlor, it was a far-fetched notion with little possibility of success driven by clearly racist motivations. But at the end of the 20th century, biotechnological techniques and other agendas are making forms of human eugenics plausible. Rich in anecdote, narrative, and fact. An important book.
A revealing study of the tangled history of the eugenics movement and its relation to the science of human genetics...Kevles makes clear the symbiotic relations between the genuine science of genetics [and] the political programs and prejudices of the eugenicists. (Leon J. Kamin New York Times Book Review)
A lucid and intricate history of eugenics...which has long been the preserve of specialists. Yet an understanding of that history is central to informed debate on issues affecting the public in general and scientists in particular. Kevles's lively and informative book makes that debate possible. It deserves a wide audience. (Diane B. Paul Scientific American)
All the more powerful for confronting folly [with] urbanity and a clear eye. (Horace Freeland Judson New Republic)
The historical sweep that [Kevles] brings to bear in this marvellous book should make us ponder over the tenacity of eugenic theories. What does it say about our thought processes and the social structures that foster them? In addition to a gripping text Kevles provides copious notes and an essay on sources. He weaves personal histories into the history of the field so skillfully, blending anecdote, hard science and--albeit in a restricted sense--sociology, all in the correct proportions, all with enviable style and verve, that it is only after putting the book down that you realize you have been instructed while being entertained. (Vidyanand Nanjundiah Journal of Genetics)
The finest of all books on the history of eugenics. (Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard University)
Top customer reviews
In fact, I enjoyed reading his references and bibliography, because it was just loaded with information that he chose not to use in the text of his book. I also tend to go searching through his index and references for extra information because of all of the books I've read on eugenics here in the U.S. his is the most valid and inclusive of everything I've seen so far. This is a topic which is very difficult to read, let alone write about, without developing very strong opinions not only of the movement itself, but of the people involved one way or another in this particular stain on American history. See...I cannot even keep my own mouth shut for writing a short review on a book on the topic...I cannot imagine researching it for a period of years and being expected to remain distant and objective about it. Kevles does a relatively good job presenting the facts and not becoming too strident about the questionable scientific practices which flourished in order to 'prove' preconceived ideas and beliefs. The book is extremely readable (especially compared to most textbooks for sociology or ethics), and I can understand why professors would recommend this book to their students rather than reading a dry textbook. I certainly have no plans to get rid of my copy, and I will be lending it out and recommending it to those I teach concerning the disabled and bioethics. ...
This book has many failures:
1-Has nothing about eugenics in latin American.In countries such as Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil,etc. eugenics was a left's monopoly.
2-Has nothing about eugenics in Japan.Japanese royal family gave complete support to eugenics, during decades.
3-This book has almost nothing about eugenics, in former Soviet Union.On page 191, there's just a few swntences about this.Even so, former USSR, not Nazi Germany was the first country to put eugenics at the center of its politics.The first national eugenics association, suppported by one state was created by Lenin himself, in january, 1918.Its leader was Trotsky.This video: [...]has something, about eugenics in Soviet Union.
4-This book fall on the same fraud of claiming that eugenics, became the "mother" of human genetics.Eugenicists really made a few discoveries in human genetics.The vast "research" in eugenics was nothing more than frauds and failures.In fact, ALL american "philanthropic" foundations linked to eugenics on past(Rockefeller,Carnegie,etc.) became "malthusianists" foundation between 1939 and 1970 decade and are noww all "ecologists" foundations.The site [..] related shows a short discuss of a man that was a racist, eugenicist and is now an ecologist.
5-The page 56 has less than five words, about the inheritance of pellagra.In fact, the claim that pellagra was caused, by inheritance caused the deaths of tens of thousands of deaths in the USA;mainly among colored population.Worldwide this claim-supported by "philanthropic" american foundations such as Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations sent to madness and death, hundreds of thousands of persons;mainly in third world.
6-About the support of royal families of Europe and american presidents, to eugenics, there's almost nothing.These same royal families are now supporting ecology.
7-Supporters of eugenics became abortion's supporters, but this book has nothing, about this fact.
Beyond doubt, this book is better than the average, about eugenics.Even so, there's these and others failures.