The Eugenics Movement: An Encyclopedia

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Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 2005 - Science - 279 pages
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An A-to-Z overview of eugenics - one of the most controversial scientific and cultural movements of the last century Eugenics - the theory that we can improve future generations of humans through selective breeding - was one of the most controversial movements of the early 20th century. Often tied to racist beliefs and nativist desires to limit immigration, the eugenics movement attracted some of the most prominent scientists and social reformers of the day. This encyclopedia brings into one place concise descriptions of the leading figures, organizations, events, legislation, publications, concepts, and terms of this vitally important historical movement. Although focused on the United States during the heyday of the movement, the encyclopedia includes material on international events as well as connections to important contemporary issues such as genetic engineering, family balancing, and the possibility of human cloning. 250 entries on such topics as: inherited conditions such as alcoholism, prostitution, poverty, and criminality that eugenicists thought could be eliminated by following eugenic methods; concepts such as feeblemindedness, race degeneracy, and race suicide that were pervasive during the era of the eugenics movement; tools that eugenicists relied on, such as laws that allowed forced sterilizations of the unfit; organizations that encouraged the fit to produce more children; the continued acceptance of attempts to improve future generations through genetic testing and treatment. The book includes photographs, a chronology of events, and an extensive bibliography of works for further information.. Examines a controversial aspect of scientific history. Discusses how contemporary controversies over genetic engineering relate to the eugenics theories of the past

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About the author (2005)

RUTH CLIFFORD ENGS is Professor of Applied Health Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. She has published numerous articles and books, including Clean Living Movements: American Cycles of Health Reform (Praeger, 2000) and The Progressive Era's Health Reform Movement: A Historical Dictionary (Praeger, 2003).

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