BN.com Gift Guide

Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$13.28
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 12/31/2014
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$20.88
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.86
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 53%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $14.86   
  • New (5) from $30.72   
  • Used (10) from $14.86   

Overview

Scholars exploring the history of science under the Nazis have generally concentrated on the Nazi destruction of science or the corruption of intellectual and liberal values. Racial Hygiene focuses on how scientists themselves participated in the construction of Nazi racial policy. Robert Proctor demonstrates that the common picture of a passive scientific community coerced into cooperation with the Nazis fails to grasp the reality of what actually happened--namely, that many of the political initiatives of the Nazis arose from within the scientific community, and that medical scientists actively designed and administered key elements of National Socialist policy.

The book presents the most comprehensive account to date of German medical involvement in the sterilization and castration laws, the laws banning marriage between Jews and non-Jews, and the massive program to destroy "lives not worth living:' The study traces attempts on the part of doctors to conceive of the "Jewish problem" as a "medical problem," and how medical journals openly discussed the need to find a "final solution" to Germany's Jewish and gypsy "problems."

Proctor makes us aware that such thinking was not unique to Germany. The social Darwinism of the late nineteenth century in America and Europe gave rise to theories of racial hygiene that were embraced by enthusiasts of various nationalities in the hope of breeding a better, healthier, stronger race of people. Proctor also presents an account of the "organic" health movement that flourished under the Nazis, including campaigns to reduce smoking and drinking, and efforts to require bakeries to produce whole-grain bread. A separate chapter is devoted to the emergence of a resistance movement among doctors in the Association of Socialist Physicians. The book is based on a close analysis of contemporary documents, including German state archives and more than two hundred medical journals published during the period.

Proctor has set out not merely to tell a story but also to urge reflection on what might be called the "political philosophy of science"--how movements that shape the policies of nations can also shape the structure and priorities of science. The broad implications of this book make it of consequence not only to historians, physicians, and people concerned with the history and philosophy of science, but also to those interested in science policy and medical ethics.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

Proctor's carefully argued book not only forces us to reassess the dynamics of Nazism but also challenges pervasive notions about the political neutrality and objective value of science and the moral innocence of scientists...[A] provocative study.
— Mary Nolan

Jewish Chronicle
A chilling indictment of the pre-war German scientific community which legitimized Nazi racial theories.
Science

It is a deeply disturbing book, concerned as it is with how fine scientific minds, many of which were at least formally committed to the practice of healing, not only "sold themselves to the devil" but, through their own theoretical musings and prejudice-tinctured social concerns, anticipated his arrival. It is an at times passionate exegesis on how "value-free" science is a disingenuous contradiction in terms and, more important, on how people who believe in so chimerical an enterprise could and can contribute to social pathology...The lessons for our own age are baldly obvious.
— Robert A. Pois

New York Times Book Review - Mary Nolan
Proctor's carefully argued book not only forces us to reassess the dynamics of Nazism but also challenges pervasive notions about the political neutrality and objective value of science and the moral innocence of scientists...[A] provocative study.
Science - Robert A. Pois
It is a deeply disturbing book, concerned as it is with how fine scientific minds, many of which were at least formally committed to the practice of healing, not only "sold themselves to the devil" but, through their own theoretical musings and prejudice-tinctured social concerns, anticipated his arrival. It is an at times passionate exegesis on how "value-free" science is a disingenuous contradiction in terms and, more important, on how people who believe in so chimerical an enterprise could and can contribute to social pathology...The lessons for our own age are baldly obvious.
Burton C. Einspruch
The best that has been written...A well-crafted, seminal work.
Science
It is a deeply disturbing book, concerned as it is with how fine scientific minds, many of which were at least formally committed to the practice of healing, not only "sold themselves to the devil" but, through their own theoretical musings and prejudice-tinctured social concerns, anticipated his arrival. It is an at times passionate exegesis on how "value-free" science is a disingenuous contradiction in terms and, more important, on how people who believe in so chimerical an enterprise could and can contribute to social pathology...The lessons for our own age are baldly obvious.
— Robert A. Pois
New York Times Book Review
Proctor's carefully argued book not only forces us to reassess the dynamics of Nazism but also challenges pervasive notions about the political neutrality and objective value of science and the moral innocence of scientists...[A] provocative study.
— Mary Nolan
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674745780
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1990
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 966,050
  • Product dimensions: 4.86 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert N. Proctor, author of Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis, is Professor of History of Science at Stanford University.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. The Origins of Racial Hygiene

2. "Neutral Racism": The Case of Fritz Lenz

3. Political Biology: Doctors in the Nazi Cause

4. The Sterilization Law

5. The Control of Women

6. Anti-Semitism in the German Medical Community

7. The Destruction of "Lives Not Worth Living"

8. The "Organic Vision" of Nazi Racial Science

9. Medical Resistance: The Association of Socialist Physicians

10. The Politics of Knowledge

Epilogue. Postwar Legacies

Appendix A: German Medical journals under the Nazis

Appendix B: University and Research Institutes Devoted to Racial Hygiene

Bibliography

Notes

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2002

    Fantastic

    Though the title makes one think it will describe the gruesome experiments performed at the death camps, the book focuses more on social, political, and economic events surrounding the eugenics movement. It presents the reasons why racial hygiene appealed to the German medical community and the opposition the movement faced as well. More importantly, though, it reminds us that Germany was not the only country involved in eugenics and that some blame for the entire movement must also rest with other Western countries, even though Germany far exceeded the limits of other examples. Overall, it was a great read, fascinating and comprehendable. It really made some occurrances that are hard to understand more clear. I highly recommend it, even if you don't think history is interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2001

    Disturbing

    Although the title might suggest a book dedicated to the cruel and inhumane medical experimentation performed by Dr Mengele and other defunct 'doctors', I was very relieved to see it mostly avoided this topic which is too overexploited in recent time---The book concerns itself more with the social context and overiding racial theories of the time. A very interesting chapter dealt with the plight of women under the NAZI regime. A few uncomfortable jabs are made at the United States due to its own eugenics program fostered in the early twentieth century. Overall a very provocative text. Much reccomended. Very important to anyone in a research or pure scientific field, because it forces one to reflect on the morality of science---where does the line get drawn between scientific detachment and becoming inhuman?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)