Inventing America's Worst Family: Eugenics, Islam, and the Fall and Rise of the Tribe of Ishmael

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Univ of California Press, Jan 5, 2009 - History - 253 pages
"Inventing America's Worst Family is an important, refreshing, and interesting work. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this account is its placement at the center of a larger narrative about America's obsession with Orientalism. The story emerges gracefully and compellingly; Deutsch clearly presents new material and has gone to great efforts to track what actually became of the Ishmael group, and its origins."—Wendy Kline, author of Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom

"This is one of the most intriguing, imaginative works of history I've read in quite some time. Inventing America's Worst Family advances historical scholarship on poverty and eugenics in compelling ways, with its deep analysis of institutional realities and cultural trends. Deutsch combines a terrific story with his own impressive narrative talent; the book is ingeniously conceived, brilliantly researched, and beautifully told!"—J. Terry Todd, Drew University


How Oscar McCulloch Discovered the Ishmaelites
In Darkest Indianapolis
How the Other Half Lives
The Ishmaelites and the Menace of the Feebleminded
Ishmaelites Immigrants
How the Tribe of Ishmael
An American Story
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2009)

Nathaniel Deutsch, Professor of Literature and History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is author of The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World (UC Press), among other books.

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