The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life And Scandalous Sterilization Of Ann Cooper Hewitt

April 20, 2021|
The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life And Scandalous Sterilization Of Ann Cooper Hewitt by Audrey Clare Farley
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For readers ofThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksandThe Phantom of Fifth Avenue, a page-turning drama of fortunes, eugenics and women''s reproductive rights framed by the sordid court battle between Ann Cooper Hewitt and her socialite mother.
At the turn of the twentieth century, American women began to reject Victorian propriety in favor of passion and livelihood outside the home. This alarmed authorities, who feared certain "over-sexed" women could destroy civilization if allowed to reproduce and pass on their defects. Set against this backdrop, THE UNFIT HEIRESS chronicles the fight for inheritance, both genetic and monetary, between Ann Cooper Hewitt and her mother Maryon.
In 1934, aided by a California eugenics law, the socialite Maryon Cooper Hewitt had her "promiscuous" daughter declared feebleminded and sterilized without her knowledge. She did this to deprive Ann of millions of dollars from her father''s estate, which contained a child-bearing stipulation. When a sensational court case ensued, the American public was captivated. So were eugenicists, who saw an opportunity to restrict reproductive rights in America for decades to come.
This riveting story unfolds through the brilliant research of Audrey Clare Farley, who captures the interior lives of these women on the pages and poses questions that remain relevant today: What does it mean to be "unfit" for motherhood? In the battle for reproductive rights, can we forgive the women who side against us? And can we forgive our mothers if they are the ones who inflict the deepest wounds?
Audrey Clare Farleyis a writer, book reviewer, and historian of twentieth-century American fiction and culture. Having earned a PhD in English from University of Maryland, College Park in 2017, she occasionally lectures in history and literature at local universities. Her essay on Ann Cooper Hewitt, published in July 2019 inNarratively...
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Title:The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life And Scandalous Sterilization Of Ann Cooper Hewitt
Format:Hardcover
Product dimensions:304 pages, 9.35 X 6.45 X 1.35 in
Shipping dimensions:304 pages, 9.35 X 6.45 X 1.35 in
Published:April 20, 2021
Publisher:Grand Central Publishing
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9781538753354

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