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From the Publisher"[An] interesting and timely book . . . English challenges literary scholars' tendency to elevate literature beyond the ideologies and politics of its time. . . . Intellectually perceptive."
— Journal of African American History
English's most significant contribution is the unusual juxtaposition and sustained connection of literary lives across the matrix of color, class, and gender. Her refusal to isolate "black" from "white" and "male" from "female" leads her to some rather remarkable readings, giving this book a formidable intellectual heft.(Matthew Pratt Guterl, Indiana University)
This brilliantly achieved study demonstrates the "partnership" between eugenics and class-based, racial uplift thinking that has received insufficient notice in the past. English's arguments have grave implications for contemporary debates over immigration policy and state regulation of the poor.(Aldon Nielsen, The Pennsylvania State University)
English links writers from the Harlem Renaissance and American modernism to debates about eugenics in the Progressive Era. She argues that writings by figures as disparate as W. E. B. Du Bois, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, and Nella Larsen were shaped by anxieties regarding immigration, migration, and intraracial breeding.