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Edwin Black has again written a unique and important book. Until now eugenics in the US and in Germany have not been analyzed together. One assumed they had little in common. This was not so. Their joint past was bloody and their future is disquieting.
War on the Weak is a gripping account of the evils of eugenics. Edwin Black brings home the misery inflicted by the eugenic zealots
It is depressing and dismaying to learn in Edwin Black’s impressive new book, War Against the Weak, that the Nazi rationale for sterilization and euthanasia was "made in America." But Black has conclusively shown that Nazi eugenics was derived from notions espoused by a self-chosen American elite, including some admired historical personages. Hitler and his fanatics further perverted this iniquity in their attempt to exterminate all Gypsies and all Jews, whom they considered racially inferior--that is eugenically inferior. The American antecedents in this book were a revelation to me.
Edwin Black’s stunning history of eugenics, War Against The Weak, is a triumph of historical research and storytelling. It provides new information and insights on the pseudoscience that brought humanity to the brink of creating a monstrous master race. Black’s compelling story is told with clarity and engaging detail. His revelations concerning our experiences with eugenics in the last century are most important as a clarion of caution. Faced with the awesome, and potentially awful, implications of genetic science in the twenty-first century, Edwin Black also provides his readers with an invaluable context for the decisions and choices concerning our human nature that now confront us. His book deserves our attention and Black deserves our thanks.
Edwin Black has written a phenomenal book in War Against the Weak. Black has taken all the skeletons from America's eugenics history out of the closet and exposed them at a time when advances in genetics are leading some scientists down a similar path. At times I was reading the book with my jaw on the ground, astonished to read the racist and anti-Semitic views of scientific luminaries. The fact that "American eugenics had always sought a global solution" was a chilling statement suggesting that the seeds of eugenics practiced so brutally in Nazi Germany were planted firmly in the United States decades earlier. Quite simply, War Against the Weak is a blockbuster.
Edwin Black's War Against the Weak provides an important book on a dark page in recent history. Detailed and well-documented, this account of the American experience with eugenics, and its influence on European versions of eugenics and then tracing links with current genetics raises disturbing but necessary questions for present democratic societies.
This book is a must read for every "Ethics" course in every University and Seminary. It is rare to find a readable text that explores the philosophical, religious, and intellectual history of an idea as important as "Eugenics." Black has done for Medical and Bio Ethics what he did for business ethics in his book IBM and the Holocaust. He has challenged the public understanding of an issue that will be the frightening new frontier of research in the 21st Century.
Edwin Black's monumental work, War Against the Weak, traces the sad history of American eugenics, a social experiment out of control that wreaked devastating effects on individuals, families and even whole societies. This book is a powerful accomplishment and a reminder to us all.
Edwin Black's War on the Weak skillfully exposes another shameful chapter from the dark side of American history. The eugenics programs documented so carefully by Black have been unknown to most educated people in this country. What college or university textbook ever mentioned them? Unquestionably, as Black documents, the Nazis learned much from these insidious American proponents of "pure blood." It is ironic, at a time when the United States is flushed with patriotism, to consider that many, if not most, of the soldiers who helped topple the regime in Iraq would have been deemed as "unfit" by the eugenicists in their own country, had this monstrous system succeeded. War on the Weak will be standard fare in general and special ethics courses for a long time to come.
War Against the Weak is an eye opener for those who think that eugenics was a European idea. Black's comprehensive research not only shows how the USA was a leader in eugenics, sterilization and attempts to create ideal racial stock, but that the Nazis not only learned some things from the Americans, and even received fiancial support from American-based foundations of high repute. The frightening aspect of Black's conclusions relates to how ethics will be treated with the new genetics-the genome project, DNA and other forms of science that can help eliminate diseases and also create superior stock. Black's answer to this question seems honest: he says: "The short answer is nobody knows."