Quality and Quantity: The Quest for Biological Regeneration in Twentieth-Century France

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byWilliam H. SchneiderEditorCharles Rosenberg

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This book examines in detail how eugenics in early twentieth-century France provided a broad cover for a variety of reform movements that attempted to bring about the biological regeneration of the French population. Like several other societies during this period, France showed a growing interest in natalist, neo-Lamarckian, social hygiene, racist, and other biologically-based movements as a response to the perception that French society was in a state of decline and degeneration. William Schneider's study provides a fascinating account of attempts to apply new discoveries in biology and medicine toward the improvement in the inherited biological quality of the population through such measures as birth control, premarital examinations, sterilization, and immigration restriction. It is the first attempt to set forth the major components of French eugenics both for comparison with other countries and to show the interaction of the various movements that comprised it.

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From the Publisher

This book examines in detail how eugenics in early twentieth-century France provided a broad cover for a variety of reform movements that attempted to bring about the biological regeneration of the French population. Like several other societies during this period, France showed a growing interest in natalist, neo-Lamarckian, social hy...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:404 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.91 inPublisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:052152461X

ISBN - 13:9780521524612

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Degeneration and regeneration; 3. From puericulture to eugenics; 4. The French eugenics society to 1920; 5. Postwar eugenics and social hygiene; 6. The campaign for a premarital exam; 7. French eugenics in the thirties; 8. Eugenics, race and blood; 9. Race and immigration; 10. Vichy and after; 11. Conclusion; Notes.

Editorial Reviews

"A strength of the book is its comparative perspective." paul Weindling, Times Higher Education Supplement