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Books, Journals, New Media
August 18, 2004


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(7):868-869. doi:10.1001/jama.292.7.868

War Against the Weak is an ambitious project penned by an experienced journalist (author of IBM and the Holocaust, 2001). Drawn to the topic of eugenics while researching his previous book, Edwin Black "launched an international investigation" to unearth 50 000 documents from more than 40 archives (p xviii). The result is a dramatic retelling of the work of some of the key US eugenicists who popularized the movement at home and abroad. In some 450 pages, Black drives home his two main points: first, that eugenics was a corporate enterprise supported by major foundations, and, second, that the movement in the United States inspired Nazi Germany.