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Books, Journals, New Media
October 27, 2004

Institutional Abuse

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(16):2019-2024. doi:10.1001/jama.292.16.2020

“[The] state boys asked endless questions about why they were being held at Fernald [State School] and how, or when, they might get out. Most attendants changed the subject or answered with questions of their own. ‘Where would you go if we let you out?’ . . . ” The State Boys Rebellion chronicles the plight of a group of courageous individuals who endlessly asked those questions, met adversity on multiple fronts, and eventually claimed the right to live their own lives. As boys, they were confined to the Fernald State School in Waltham, Mass, during the 1940s into the 1970s, often on the basis of a single faulty intelligence test. Pulitzer Prize–winning author Michael D’Antonio describes the experiences of a group of those boys, when possible into the present, and the eugenics movement in the United States.

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