Author: Adam Cohen
Release Date: 2016-03-01
Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction One of America’s great miscarriages of justice, the Supreme Court’s infamous 1927 Buck v. Bell ruling made government sterilization of “undesirable” citizens the law of the land In 1927, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling so disturbing, ignorant, and cruel that it stands as one of the great injustices in American history. In Imbeciles, bestselling author Adam Cohen exposes the court’s decision to allow the sterilization of a young woman it wrongly thought to be “feebleminded” and to champion the mass eugenic sterilization of undesirable citizens for the greater good of the country. The 8–1 ruling was signed by some of the most revered figures in American law—including Chief Justice William Howard Taft, a former U.S. president; and Louis Brandeis, a progressive icon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, considered by many the greatest Supreme Court justice in history, wrote the majority opinion, including the court’s famous declaration “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Imbeciles is the shocking story of Buck v. Bell, a legal case that challenges our faith in American justice. A gripping courtroom drama, it pits a helpless young woman against powerful scientists, lawyers, and judges who believed that eugenic measures were necessary to save the nation from being “swamped with incompetence.” At the center was Carrie Buck, who was born into a poor family in Charlottesville, Virginia, and taken in by a foster family, until she became pregnant out of wedlock. She was then declared “feebleminded” and shipped off to the Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded. Buck v. Bell unfolded against the backdrop of a nation in the thrall of eugenics, which many Americans thought would uplift the human race. Congress embraced this fervor, enacting the first laws designed to prevent immigration by Italians, Jews, and other groups charged with being genetically inferior. Cohen shows how Buck arrived at the colony at just the wrong time, when influential scientists and politicians were looking for a “test case” to determine whether Virginia’s new eugenic sterilization law could withstand a legal challenge. A cabal of powerful men lined up against her, and no one stood up for her—not even her lawyer, who, it is now clear, was in collusion with the men who wanted her sterilized. In the end, Buck’s case was heard by the Supreme Court, the institution established by the founders to ensure that justice would prevail. The court could have seen through the false claim that Buck was a threat to the gene pool, or it could have found that forced sterilization was a violation of her rights. Instead, Holmes, a scion of several prominent Boston Brahmin families, who was raised to believe in the superiority of his own bloodlines, wrote a vicious, haunting decision upholding Buck’s sterilization and imploring the nation to sterilize many more. Holmes got his wish, and before the madness ended some sixty to seventy thousand Americans were sterilized. Cohen overturns cherished myths and demolishes lauded figures in relentless pursuit of the truth. With the intellectual force of a legal brief and the passion of a front-page exposé, Imbeciles is an ardent indictment of our champions of justice and our optimistic faith in progress, as well as a triumph of American legal and social history. From the Hardcover edition.
A preeminent constitutional scholar offers a hard-hitting analysis of the Supreme Court over the last two hundred years Most Americans share the perception that the Supreme Court is objective, but Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers, shows that this is nonsense and always has been. The Court is made up of fallible individuals who base decisions on their own biases. Today, the Roberts Court is promoting a conservative agenda under the guise of following a neutral methodology, but notorious decisions, such as Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United, are hardly recent exceptions. This devastating book details, case by case, how the Court has largely failed throughout American history at its most important tasks and at the most important times. Only someone of Chemerinsky’s stature and breadth of knowledge could take on this controversial topic. Powerfully arguing for term limits for justices and a reassessment of the institution as a whole, The Case Against the Supreme Court is a timely and important book that will be widely read and cited for decades to come. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: William E. Leuchtenburg
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1996-10-10
For almost sixty years, the results of the New Deal have been an accepted part of political life. Social Security, to take one example, is now seen as every American's birthright. But to validate this revolutionary legislation, Franklin Roosevelt had to fight a ferocious battle against the opposition of the Supreme Court--which was entrenched in laissez faire orthodoxy. After many lost battles, Roosevelt won his war with the Court, launching a Constitutional revolution that went far beyond anything he envisioned. In The Supreme Court Reborn, esteemed scholar William E. Leuchtenburg explores the critical episodes of the legal revolution that created the Court we know today. Leuchtenburg deftly portrays the events leading up to Roosevelt's showdown with the Supreme Court. Committed to laissez faire doctrine, the conservative "Four Horsemen"--Justices Butler, Van Devanter, Sutherland, and McReynolds, aided by the swing vote of Justice Owen Roberts--struck down one regulatory law after another, outraging Roosevelt and much of the Depression-stricken nation. Leuchtenburg demonstrates that Roosevelt thought he had the backing of the country as he prepared a scheme to undermine the Four Hoursemen. Famous (or infamous) as the "Court-packing plan," this proposal would have allowed the president to add one new justice for every sitting justice over the age of seventy. The plan picked up considerable momentum in Congress; it was only after a change in the voting of Justice Roberts (called "the switch in time that saved nine") and the death of Senate Majority Leader Joseph T. Robinson that it shuddered to a halt. Rosevelt's persistence led to one of his biggest legislative defeats. Despite the failure of the Court-packing plan, however, the president won his battle with the Supreme Court; one by one, the Four Horsemen left the bench, to be replaced by Roosevelt appointees. Leuchtenburg explores the far-reaching nature of FDR's victory. As a consequence of the Constitutional Revolution that began in 1937, not only was the New Deal upheld (as precedent after precedent was overturned), but also the Court began a dramatic expansion of Civil liberties that would culminate in the Warren Court. Among the surprises was Senator Hugo Black, who faced widespread opposition for his lack of qualifications when he was appointed as associate justice; shortly afterward, a reporter revealed that he had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Despite that background, Black became an articulate spokesman for individual liberty. William E. Leuchtenburg is one of America's premier historians, a scholar who combines depth of learning with a graceful style. This superbly crafted book sheds new light on the great Constitutional crisis of our century, illuminating the legal and political battles that created today's Supreme Court.
Author: A. E. Samaan
Publisher: A.E. Samaan
Release Date: 2013-02-08
Genre: Political Science
There is a gaping hole in the history of the Holocaust. Between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Mengele there was a hierarchy of scientists whom were responsible for writing the infamous racial legislation of the Third Reich. These scientists, doctors, and legislators enjoyed prestigious positions in the various institutions within Hitler's Germany. To be more precise, many of the ghastly experiments credited to Mengele were ordered by this group of high-ranking scientists and doctors. Mengele was following their orders, yet many of these German doctors and scientists were set free after being captured by the Allies. Previously unpublished manuscripts, correspondence, and conveniently forgotten publications reveal professional and political relationships as well as shared scientific convictions between high-profile American Progressives, British Fabian Socialists, and their German counterparts. The mounting evidence points to the long-standing designs and machinations of "scientific racism", a still poorly understood aspect of history. This book documents the hundred year trajectory of the history of "scientific racism" from its initial intentions to create "a race of masters" to the Holocaust, which resulted from Hitler's conviction to create a "master race". These scientific prejudices and political dogmas are as relevant today as they were leading up to WWII. A thorough understanding of the origins of this movement is in order.
Author: Philippa Levine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-12-15
In 1883, Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, coined the word "eugenics" to express his dream of perfecting the human race by applying the laws of genetic heredity. Adapting Darwin's theory of evolution to human society, eugenics soon became a powerful, international movement, committed to using the principles of heredity and statistics to encourage healthy and discourage unhealthy reproduction. Early in the twentieth century and across the world, doctors, social reformers, and politicians turned to the new science of eugenics as a means to improve and strengthen their populations. Eugenics advocates claimed their methods would result in healthier, fitter babies and would dramatically limit human suffering. The reality was a different story. In the name of scientific progress and of human improvement, eugenicists targeted the weak and the sick, triggering coercive legislation on issues as disparate as race, gender, immigration, euthanasia, abortion, sterilization, intelligence, mental illness, and disease control. Nationalists eagerly embraced eugenics as a means to legitimize their countries' superiority and racialized assumptions, and the Nazis notoriously used eugenics to shape their "final solution." In this lucid volume, Philippa Levine tackles the intricate and controversial history of eugenics, masterfully synthesizing the enormous range of policies and experiments carried out in the name of eugenics around the world throughout the twentieth century. She questions the widespread belief that eugenics disappeared after World War II and evaluates the impact of eugenics on current reproductive and genetic sciences. Charting the development of such controversial practices as artificial insemination, sperm donation, and population control, this book offers a powerful, extraordinarily timely reflection on the frequent interplay between genetics and ethics. Eugenics may no longer be a household word, but we feel its effects even today.
Author: Wilbur R. Miller
Release Date: 2012-06-29
Several encyclopedias overview the contemporary system of criminal justice in America, but full understanding of current social problems and contemporary strategies to deal with them can come only with clear appreciation of the historical underpinnings of those problems. Thus, this four-volume work surveys the history and philosophy of crime, punishment, and criminal justice institutions in America from colonial times to the present. It covers the whole of the criminal justice system, from crimes, law enforcement and policing, to courts, corrections and human services. Among other things, this encyclopedia will: explicate philosophical foundations underpinning our system of justice; chart changing patterns in criminal activity and subsequent effects on legal responses; identify major periods in the development of our system of criminal justice; and explore evolving debates and conflicts on how best to address issues of crime and punishment. Its signed entries provide the historical context for students to better understand contemporary criminological debates and the contemporary shape of the U.S. system of law and justice.
Author: James G. Thomas Jr.
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2012-11-26
Science and medicine have been critical to southern history and the formation of southern culture. For three centuries, scientists in the South have documented the lush natural world around them and set a lasting tradition of inquiry. The medical history of the region, however, has been at times tragic. Disease, death, and generations of poor health have been the legacy of slavery, the plantation economy, rural life, and poorly planned cities. The essays in this volume explore this legacy as well as recent developments in technology, research, and medicine in the South. Subjects include natural history, slave health, medicine in the Civil War, public health, eugenics, HIV/AIDS, environmental health, and the rise of research institutions and hospitals, to name but a few. With 38 thematic essays, 44 topical entries, and a comprehensive overview essay, this volume offers an authoritative reference to science and medicine in the American South.
Author: Paul A. Lombardo
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 2011-01
In 1907, Indiana passed the world's first involuntary sterilization law based on the theory of eugenics. In time, more than 30 states and a dozen foreign countries followed suit. Although the Indiana statute was later declared unconstitutional, other laws restricting immigration and regulating marriage on "eugenic" grounds were still in effect in the U.S. as late as the 1970s. A Century of Eugenics in America assesses the history of eugenics in the United States and its status in the age of the Human Genome Project. The essays explore the early support of compulsory sterilization by doctors and legislators; the implementation of eugenic schemes in Indiana, Georgia, California, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Alabama; the legal and social challenges to sterilization; and the prospects for a eugenics movement basing its claims on modern genetic science.
Author: Angela M. Smith
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2011-12-20
Genre: Performing Arts
Twisted bodies, deformed faces, aberrant behavior, and abnormal desires characterized the hideous creatures of classic Hollywood horror, which thrilled audiences with their sheer grotesqueness. Most critics have interpreted such traits as symptoms of sexual repression, or as metaphors for other kinds of marginalized identities, but Angela M. Smith conducts a richer investigation into the period's social and cultural preoccupations. Presenting an altogether different reading, she finds in the narrative and spectacle of classic 1930s horror a fascination with eugenics and physical and cognitive debility, heightened by viewers' own desire for visions of vulnerability and transformation.
Author: Noreen M. Glover-Graf, RhD, CRC
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company
Release Date: 2011-07-27
"What a marvelous and amazing textbook. Drs. Marini, Glover-Graf and Millington have done a remarkable job in the design of this highly unique book, that comprehensively and very thoughtfully addresses the psychosocial aspects of the disability experience. These highly respected scholars have produced a major work that will be a central text in rehabilitation education for years to come." From the Foreword by Michael J. Leahy, Ph.D., LPC, CRC Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Michigan State University "This is an excellent book, but the best parts are the stories of the disabled, which give readers insights into their struggles and triumphs." Score: 94, 4 Stars--Doody's Medical Reviews What are the differences between individuals with disabilities who flourish as opposed to those who never really adjust after a trauma? How are those born with a disability different from individuals who acquire one later in life? This is the first textbook about the psychosocial aspects of disability to provide students and practitioners of rehabilitation counseling with vivid insight into the experience of living with a disability. It features the first-person narratives of 16 people living with a variety of disabling conditions, which are integrated with sociological and societal perspectives toward disability, and strategies for counseling persons with disabilities. Using a minority model perspective to address disability, the book focuses on historical perspectives, cultural variants regarding disability, myths and misconceptions, the attitudes of special interest and occupational groups, the psychology of disability with a focus on positive psychology, and adjustments to disability by the individual and family. A wealth of counseling guidelines and useful strategies are geared specifically to individual disabilities. Key Features: Contains narratives of people living with blindness, hearing impairments, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, polio, mental illness, and other disabilities Provides counseling guidelines and strategies specifically geared toward specific disabilities, including "dos and don'ts" Includes psychological and sociological research relating to individual disabilities Discusses ongoing treatment issues and ethical dilemmas for rehabilitation counselors Presents thought-provoking discussion questions in each chapter Authored by prominent professor and researcher who became disabled as a young adult
Author: Mark A. Stebnicki, PhD, LCP, DCMHS, CRC, CCM
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company
Release Date: 2012-02-24
"This edition...adds an important international perspective on illness and disability. The personal narratives help bring the real world of people who are suffering to the forefront of the scientific discourse."--Doody's Medical Reviews Now in its sixth edition, this best-selling textbook continues to be the most comprehensive and diverse text available on the psychosocial aspects of disability. It examines current thought and treatment approaches to working with individuals with disabilities through the contributions of expert thinkers and practitioners in the disability field. Abundant and insightful narratives by disabled individuals offer a bridge between theory and practice for students in rehabilitation psychology and counseling courses. In addition to completely updated and reorganized material, this edition contains insightful new section introductions, empirically based research articles, and the contributions of international researchers presenting a more global and richer perspective on the psychosocial aspects of disability and illness. It also contains an increased focus on the negative impact of societal attitudes and treatment of disabled individuals on their psychological adjustment to disability. The addition of objectives at the beginning of each chapter and review questions and personal perspectives at the end of each chapter further facilitate in-depth learning. Key Features: Presents the most comprehensive and diverse coverage of psychosocial aspects of disability topics of any textbook available Examines contemporary thinking and treatment approaches in working with individuals with disabilities Provides a bridge between theory and practice through the narratives of individuals with disabilities Establishes a historical understanding of societal attitudes toward disability and treatment past and present of persons with disabilities Analyzes barriers to enabling persons with disabilities and improving social consciousness and quality of life for this population Facilitates course planning through inclusion of objectives and review questions/personal perspectives in each chapter
Author: Fay Botham
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2009-12-01
In this fascinating cultural history of interracial marriage and its legal regulation in the United States, Fay Botham argues that religion--specifically, Protestant and Catholic beliefs about marriage and race--had a significant effect on legal decisions concerning miscegenation and marriage in the century following the Civil War. She contends that the white southern Protestant notion that God "dispersed" the races and the American Catholic emphasis on human unity and common origins point to ways that religion influenced the course of litigation and illuminate the religious bases for Christian racist and antiracist movements.
Author: Jonathan Kahn
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2012-12-11
At a ceremony announcing the completion of the first draft of the human genome in 2000, President Bill Clinton declared, “I believe one of the great truths to emerge from this triumphant expedition inside the human genome is that in genetic terms, all human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99.9 percent the same.” Yet despite this declaration of unity, biomedical research has focused increasingly on mapping that .1 percent of difference, particularly as it relates to race. This trend is exemplified by the drug BiDil. Approved by the FDA in 2005 as the first drug with a race-specific indication on its label, BiDil was originally touted as a pathbreaking therapy to treat heart failure in black patients and help underserved populations. Upon closer examination, however, Jonathan Kahn reveals a far more complex story. At the most basic level, BiDil became racial through legal maneuvering and commercial pressure as much as through medical understandings of how the drug worked. Using BiDil as a central case study, Kahn broadly examines the legal and commercial imperatives driving the expanding role of race in biomedicine, even as scientific advances in genomics could render the issue irrelevant. He surveys the distinct politics informing the use of race in medicine and the very real health disparities caused by racism and social injustice that are now being cast as a mere function of genetic difference. Calling for a more reasoned approach to using race in biomedical research and practice, Kahn asks readers to recognize that, just as genetics is a complex field requiring sensitivity and expertise, so too is race, particularly in the field of biomedicine.