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In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity / Edition 2

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Overview


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. It is rich in narrative, anecdote, attention to human detail, and stories of competition among scientists who have dominated the field.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

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

Scientific American

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

New Republic

All the more powerful for confronting folly [with] urbanity and a clear eye.
— Horace Freeland Judson

Journal of Genetics

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

New York Times Book Review - Leon J. Kamin
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.
Scientific American - Diane B. Paul
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.
New Republic - Horace Freeland Judson
All the more powerful for confronting folly [with] urbanity and a clear eye.
Journal of Genetics - Vidyanand Nanjundiah
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.
Stephen Jay Gould
The finest of all books on the history of eugenics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674445574
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 494,889
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Kevles is the Stanley Woodward Professor of History and Law at Yale University.
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Table of Contents

Preface, 1995

Preface to the Original Edition

I. Francis Galton, Founder of the Faith

II. Karl Pearson for Saint Biometrika

III. Charles Davenport and the Worship of Great Concepts

IV. The Gospel Becomes Popular

V. Deterioration and Deficiency

VI. Measures of Regeneration

VII. Eugenic Enactments

VIII. A Coalition of Critics

IX. False Biology

X. Lionel Penrose and the Colchester Survey

XI. A Reform Eugenics

XII. Brave New Biology

XIII. The Establishment of Human Genetics

XIV. Apogee of the English School

XV. Blood, Big Science, and Biochemistry

XVI. Chromosomes-the Binder's Mistakes

XVII. A New Eugenics

XVIII. Varieties of Presumptuousness

XIX. Songs of Deicide

Notes

Essay on Sources

Acknowledgements

Index

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