How could so many of America's educational, political and intellectual leaders have advocated such things as institutionalization, segregation and even sterilization of those with "inferior blood"? How could the racist notion of selective breeding and racial betterment have become an integral part of high school and college biology textbooks? In this work Stephen Selden tells the story of the eugenics movement in America during the early decades of the 20th century. Complete with archival photographs, "Inheriting Shame" provides a powerful historical account and refutation of biological determinist ideas. Selden discusses the role played by America's foremost socialists and scientists, popular media, and most importantly, the school textbook, in shaping public consciousness regarding the "truth" of biological determinism. Much more than simply an historical overview, "Inheriting Shame" concludes with a trenchant analysis of contemporary research evidence of the role that inheritance plays in complex human behaviour - including traits ranging from Down Syndrome to violent behaviour and homosexuality.
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- ID: 9780807738139
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