War Against the Weak (Edwin Black)
Eugenics and America's century-long campaign to create a master race is described by award-winning
investigative journalist Edwin Black. He connects the crimes of the Nazis to a pseudo-scientific American
movement of the early 20th century (started in 1904) called eugenics. Based on selective breeding, forced
sterilization, marriage prohibition, segregation and euthanasia of human beings stamped "feebleminded",
eugenics began in laboratories on Long Island (Cold Spring Harbor), but ended in the concentration
camps of Nazi Germany. Over 60,000 "unfit" Americans were coercively sterilized, a third of them
after Nuremberg declared such practices crimes against humanity. Funded by America's leading
corporate philanthropies, such as the Carnegie Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation, sanctioned
by the Supreme Court with cruel, racist laws enacted in 27 U.S. states, supported by such progressive
thinkers as Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes, eugenicists sought to eliminate
social "undesirables". The victims of eugenics were poor white people - poverty itself declared as
a genetic defect - from New England to California, immigrants from across Europe, Blacks, Jews,
Mexicans, Native Americans, epileptics, alcoholics, petty criminals, the mentally ill and anyone
else, who did not resemble the blond and blue-eyed Nordic ideal the eugenics movement glorified.
Through international academic exchanges American eugenicists exported the movement worldwide.
It eventually caught the fascination of Adolf Hitler. To write "War Against the Weak", Edwin Black
led a team of 50 researchers in dozens of archives in 4 countries, generating some 50,000 documents.
In it readers will discover the chilling truth of how the "scientific" rationales, which drove Nazi
doctors, were first concocted by "scientists" at the Carnegie Institution in New York; how the
Rockefeller Foundation's massive financial grants to German scientists culminated in Mengele's
heinous experiments at Auschwitz; how eugenics was reborn as human genetics after World War II
and why confronting the history of eugenics is essential to understanding the implications of
the Human Genome Project and 21st-century genetic engineering.