War against the weak : eugenics and America's campaign to create a master race / by Edwin Black.

Black, Edwin [Browse]
New York : Four Walls Eight Windows, ©2003.
xxviii, 550 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


Summary note
Publisher's description: History has recorded the horrors of ethnic cleansing, but until now, America's own efforts to create a master race have been largely overlooked. In War Against the Weak, investigative journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller IBM and the Holocaust Edwin Black reveals that eugenics-sham science made up to justify ethnic cleansing-had an incredible foothold in America in the early twentieth century, and was in fact championed and funded by America's social, political, and academic elite. Even more shocking, Black traces the flow of ideas, research, and money from Cold Spring Harbor (Long Island) to Germany, in the process proving that it was America's eugenics program that gave Hitler the scientific justification to escalate his virulent anti-Semitism into all-out genocide. Black's team of dozens of researchers scoured scores of archives in four countries, unearthing some 50,000 documents, which collectively prove that the eugenics agenda was funded by esteemed philanthropies such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institution; taught at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton; lauded by leading progressive thinkers such as Margaret Sanger, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Woodrow Wilson; and even sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court. With this kind of backing, American eugenics was quickly able to move beyond the theoretical in its quest to eliminate social "undesirables," getting cruel and racist laws enacted in 27 U.S. states. Ultimately, more than 60,000 Americans were sterilized against their will, and tens of thousands of others were institutionalized and/or denied the right to marry whom they chose. In the last year or so, governors from five states-Virginia, Oregon, California, North Carolina, and South Carolina-have apologized for their states' official efforts to wipe out their unwanted citizens. Surprisingly, the victims of eugenics weren't limited to the groups that have regularly suffered from prejudice in the U.S.; they were also the poor, epileptics, alcoholics, people who wore glasses, petty criminals, the mentally ill, and those deemed "shiftless." War Against the Weak details how those at the forefront of the movement worked tirelessly to establish the biological rationales for persecution, with the goal of continuously eradicating the "lower tenth" until only a pure Nordic super race remained. To achieve that end, eugenics contaminated many otherwise worthy causes, from the birth control movement to the development of psychology and IQ testing, and beyond. After Nuremberg declared eugenics to be genocide and a crime against humanity, the American eugenics movement did not disappear; it simply went underground, changed its name, and reappeared as "human genetics." War Against the Weak closes by bringing its analysis into the present day, pointing out that our increasing knowledge in the realm of genetic selection and gene-mapping is rife with opportunity for misuse.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references (p. 505-518) and index.
  • Mountain sweeps
  • Evolutions
  • America's national biology
  • Hunting the unfit
  • Legitimizing raceology
  • United States of sterilization
  • Birth control
  • Blinded
  • Mongrelization
  • Origins
  • Britain's crusade
  • Eugenic imperialism
  • Eugenicide
  • Rasse und Blut
  • Hitler's eugenic reich
  • Buchenwald
  • Auschwitz
  • From ashes to aftermath
  • American legacy
  • Eugenics becomes genetics
  • Newgenics.
  • 1568582587 ((hardcover))
  • 9781568582580 ((hardcover))
  • 1568583214
  • 9781568583211
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