Social Darwinism in European and American Thought, 1860-1945: Nature as Model and Nature as Threat / Edition 1

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This original and wide-ranging study clarifies the meaning of Social Darwinism and demonstrates its relevance through a study of European and American social and political thinkers. It is the only study of Social Darwinism that combines the study of individual thinkers with the distinctive ideological themes (e.g., eugenics) and does so in a comprehensive historical and comparative framework. A wide spectrum of academic readers will enjoy Dr. Hawkins' lucid and subtle analysis and find it a useful guide through a difficult and complex subject.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hawkins provides a keen analysis of Social Darwinism in an important and thought-provoking work that will surely become the standard work on the subject for some time to come. It is a superb corrective to the fairly popular revisionist interpretation of Social Darwinism propagated by Robert Bannister and others....Hawkins has provided a useful definition and analysis of Social Darwinism on which future scholarship can build....his work is useful and can serve as a springboard for further study. It will also serve as a useful text in a variety of courses in the history of science and intellectual history." Richard Weikart, H-Net Reviews

"...this is an erudite book that deserves to be read. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and above." P. Kivisto, Choice

"Mike Hawkins has produced a comprehensive, informative, and useful review of the emergence and development of Social Darwinism in American and European thought. He has succeeded in showing that Social Darwinism constitues a world view that is much more complex and multifaceted than is often recognized." Richard Machalek, Cithara

"We are fortunate to have this sweeping and accessible survey." Terence Hall, The Annals of the American Academy

"This new book by Mike Hawkins is valuable because it offers a clear and cogent explanation of the meaning and history of Scoial Darwinism." Larry Arnhart, Politics and the Life Sciences

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521574341
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Part I. Defining Social Darwinism: Introduction: the identity of Social Darwinism; 1. Defining Social Darwinism; 2. The distinctiveness of Social Darwinism; Part II. Pioneers: 3. The emergence of Social Darwinism; 4. Herbert Spencer and cosmic evolution; 5. Social Darwinism in the USA; 6. Social Darwinism in France and Germany; Part III. Case Studies: 7. Reform Darwinism; 8. Races, nations and the struggle for existence; 9. The eugenic conscience; 10. Social Darwinism, nature and sexual difference; 11. Nazism, Fascism and Social Darwinism; Postscript: Social Darwinism old and new: the case of sociobiology; Bibliography.

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