The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (Oxford Handbooks)

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9780195373141: The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (Oxford Handbooks)
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Eugenic thought and practice swept the world from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century in a remarkable transnational phenomenon. Eugenics informed social and scientific policy across the political spectrum, from liberal welfare measures in emerging social-democratic states to feminist ambitions for birth control, from public health campaigns to totalitarian dreams of the "perfectibility of man." This book dispels for uninitiated readers the automatic and apparently exclusive link between eugenics and the Holocaust. It is the first world history of eugenics and an indispensable core text for both teaching and research. Eugenics has accumulated generations of interest as experts attempted to connect biology, human capacity, and policy. In the past and the present, eugenics speaks to questions of race, class, gender and sex, evolution, governance, nationalism, disability, and the social implications of science. In the current climate, in which the human genome project, stem cell research, and new reproductive technologies have proven so controversial, the history of eugenics has much to teach us about the relationship between scientific research, technology, and human ethical decision-making.

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Alison Bashford is Professor of Modern History at the University of Sydney. She has published widely on the modern history of science and medicine, including Purity and Pollution and Imperial Hygiene, and has co-edited Contagion, Isolation, and Medicine at the Border.

Philippa Levine is the Mary Helen Thompson Centennial Professor in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin. Her books include Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire, and The British Empire, Sunrise to Sunset.

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Both the beginner and the seasoned scholar should be able to find new and intriguing perspectives in this well-edited volume. * Maria Bjoerkman, BJHS *

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