Keeping America Sane (Cornell Studies in the History of Psychiatry Series): Psychiatry and Eugenics in the United States and Canada, 1880-1940

Keeping America Sane (Cornell Studies in the History of Psychiatry Series): Psychiatry and Eugenics in the United States and Canada, 1880-1940

by Ian Robert Dowbiggin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801483980

ISBN-13: 9780801483981

Pub. Date: 06/15/2003

Publisher: Cornell University Press

What would bring a physician to conclude that sterilization is appropriate treatment for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped? Using archival sources, Ian Robert Dowbiggin documents the involvement of both American and Canadian psychiatrists in the eugenics movement of the early twentieth century. He explains why professional men and women committed to helping…  See more details below

Overview

What would bring a physician to conclude that sterilization is appropriate treatment for the mentally ill and mentally handicapped? Using archival sources, Ian Robert Dowbiggin documents the involvement of both American and Canadian psychiatrists in the eugenics movement of the early twentieth century. He explains why professional men and women committed to helping those less fortunate than themselves arrived at such morally and intellectually dubious conclusions. Psychiatrists at the end of the nineteenth century felt professionally vulnerable, Dowbiggin explains, because they were under intense pressure from state and provincial governments and from other physicians to reform their specialty. Eugenic ideas, which dominated public health policy making, seemed the best vehicle for catching up with the progress of science. Among the prominent psychiatrist-eugenicists Dowbiggin considers are G. Alder Blumer, Charles Kirk Clarke, Thomas Salmon, Clare Hincks, and William Partlow. Tracing psychiatric support for eugenics throughout the interwar years, Dowbiggin pays special attention to the role of psychiatrists in the fierce debates about immigration policy. His examination of psychiatry's unfortunate flirtation with eugenics elucidates how professional groups come to think and act along common lines within specific historical contexts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801483981
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
06/15/2003
Series:
Cornell Studies in the History of Psychiatry Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction1
1An Exodus of Enthusiasm: Psychiatry in Canada and the United States, 1880-192023
2A Confusing Wildness of Recommendations: G. Alder Blumer, Eugenics, and U.S. Psychiatry, 1880-194070
3Keeping This Young Country Sane: C. K. Clarke, Eugenics, and Canadian Psychiatry, 1890-1940133
4A Question of Public Health: Psychiatry, Eugenics, and Immigration in the United States, 1880-1925191
Conclusion: Reflections on the History of Eugenics232
Index241

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