The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics

Bashford, Alison
Levine, Philippa
Date published: 
August 2010

Eugenic thought and practice swept the world from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century in a remarkable transnational phenomenon that informed social and scientific policy across the political spectrum, from liberal welfare measures in emerging social-democratic states, to feminist ambitions for birth control, to 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: the popularity of eugenics in Japan, for example, comes as a surprise. It is the first world history of eugenics and an indispensable core text for both teaching and research in what has become a sprawling but ever more important field.