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Books, Journals, New Media
October 26, 2005


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.

JAMA. 2005;294(16):2098-2099. doi:10.1001/jama.294.16.2098-b

In this book, Alexandra Minna Stern has achieved something remarkable: she has said something new and interesting about the history of American eugenics, that most studied of eugenics movements on which many dozens of books have already been published.

Eugenic Nation is a series of six essays focusing on eugenics as understood and practiced in the western United States, principally California. For the first time, a book on eugenics stars a distinguished West Coast cast, including David Starr Jordan (ichthyologist, peace activist, and president of Stanford University), Lewis Terman (Stanford psychologist who developed and popularized the IQ test), Luther Burbank (Lamarckian plant breeder extraordinaire), Paul Popenoe (author of an influential eugenics text and a pioneer in marriage and family counseling), Charles M. Goethe (Sacramento banker, philanthropist, and ardent conservationist), and August Vollmer (Berkeley pioneer of modern criminology and humane law enforcement).

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