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By Pauline Mazumdar

This impressive heritage examines the eugenics move from its starting place to its heyday because the resource of a technological know-how of human genetics. Eugenics, Human Genetics and Human Failings makes an important contribution to the examine of the British eugenics circulation and its purposes to present medical work.

Previous remedies were wrong in now not viewing eugenics as a technology whose tools required severe attention. through averting this slim technique, Pauline Mazumdar offers a scholarly and provocative research, using vital archival fabric newly on hand to researchers. The conclusions she attracts from this fabric supply the reader vital perception into the internal workings of the British eugenics that released assets by myself couldn't supply. The learn additionally offers a historic creation to the present difficulties attached with the large foreign initiatives for the mapping of the human genome.

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Sample text

Keynes was a member of the Eugenics Society and a Neo-Malthusian, who saw unemployment as a sign of over-population. Sir William Beveridge, one of the founders of the Welfare State in Britain, argued against Keynes that the danger was underpopulation, but even he felt that it was more important to encourage the fertility of good rather than ordinary people. 173 Class sympathies often went deeper than politics: differential fertility made the upper-class intellectuals feel uneasy, even if their politics were not strictly those of their class.

One was his statistical approach to family histories, and the other his traveller’s experience of populations ‘in the field’. 131 These were the values which he saw as contributing to the spread of western civilisation. Races that could not supply men with these abilities were destined everywhere to be swept away, no matter how well they had been adapted to their own lifestyle. Galton also suggested that the operation of the Malthusian checks on population would be against the interests of the race concerned.

Poor Law infirmaries also contained similar cases of neurological syphilis and of chronic disease of bone and skin, many of whom might live for ten, twenty or even thirty years in a helpless state. There were also congenital syphilitics, often idiots or imbeciles. 103 Following the Report came the foundation of the National Council for Combating Venereal Disease, with Lord Sydenham, the Chairman of the Royal Commission, as President and with the driving force of Sybil Gotto as Honorary Secretary.

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