Summary: Daniel Kevles traces the study and practice of eugenics--the science of "improving" the human species by exploiting theories of heredity--from its inception in the late nineteenth century to its most recent manifestation within the field of genetic engineering. The first book to deal seriously and objectively with the development of human genetics as a scientific and medical discipline, it is, as well, rich in narrative, anecdote, attention to human detail,
and stories of competition and conflict among scientists who have dominated the field.
Summary: Daniel Kevles traces the study and practice of eugenics--the science of "improving" the human species by exploiting theories of heredity--from its inception in the late nineteenth century to its most recent manifestation within the field of genetic engineering. The first book to deal seriously and objectively with the development of human genetics as a scientific and medical discipline, it is, as well, rich in narrative, anecdote, attention to human detail, and stories of competition and conflict among scientists who have dominated the field. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:(2ND)95 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Harvard University Press Published: 07/28/1998 International: No
View Author Bio
Kevles, Daniel J. : California Institute of Technology
Daniel J. Kevles, the Koepfli Professor of the Humanities at the California Institute of Technology, has written extensively about the social and political relations of science for a variety of publications, including the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. He is the author of The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America and coeditor of The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project (both from Harvard).
"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 marvelous 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."
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