Summary: In the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, it was widely assumed that society ought to foster the breeding of those who possessed favorable traits and discourage the breeding of those who did not. Controlled human breeding, "eugenics" as it was labeled by Francis Galton, seemed only good common sense. How did eugenics come to exert such powerful and broad appeal? What events shaped its direction? Whose interests did it finally serve? Why did it ...show more fall into disrepute? Has it survived in other guises? These are some of the questions that Diane Paul sets out to answer - questions that have acquired a new urgency in light of developments in genetic medicine. The eugenics movement appeared to be dead - associated with race and class prejudice, in particular the crimes of the Third Reich - or was it just sleeping? Has eugenics returned in the guise of medical genetics? In Controlling Human Heredity, Professor Paul aims to bridge the gap between expert and lay understandings of the history of eugenics and thereby enrich the debate on the perplexing contemporary choices in genetic medicine. Paul presents a "historical analysis of the political dimensions of genetics from 1865 to the present. . . . She examines Darwin's and Galton's contributions to the discussion of selective breeding and presents the Lamarckian argument about inheriting acquired characteristics.Paul then explores notions of controlling reproduction of the 'feebleminded' by segregation or sterilization and examines different national attitudes toward such eugenic solutions. Focusing on the US, she describes the rationale for immigration restrictionsto prevent 'race suicide' and race mixing.Although eugenics disappeared in the US in the 1940s, Paul contends that it has reemerged as medical genetics, a way to increase reproductive choices and reduce genetic disease."(Choice)Bibliography.Index. ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 95
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