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From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany

by Richard Weikart (Author)



Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is one of the finest examples of intellectual history I have seen in a
long while. It is insightful, thoughtful, informative, and highly readable.
Rather than simply connecting the dots, so to speak, the author provides a
sophisticated and nuanced examination of numerous German thinkers of the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who were influenced to one degree or
another by Darwinist naturalism and their ideas, subtly drawing both
distinctions and similarities and in the process telling a rich and colorful
story."--Ian Dowbiggin, University of Prince Edward Island and author of A
Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America
"Richard Weikart's outstanding book shows in sober and convincing detail how
Darwinist thinkers in Germany had developed an amoral attitude to human society
by the time of the First World War, in which the supposed good of the race was
applied as the sole criterion of public policy and 'racial hygiene'. Without
over-simplifying the lines that connected this body of thought to Hitler, he
demonstrates with chilling clarity how policies such as infanticide, assisted
suicide, marriage prohibitions and much else were being proposed for those
considered racially or eugenically inferior by a variety of Darwinist writers
and scientists, providing Hitler and the Nazis with a scientific justification
for the policies they pursued once they came to power."--Richard Evans,
University of Cambridge, and author of The Coming of the Third Reich
"This is an impressive piece of intellectual and cultural history--a
well-researched, clearly presented argument with good, balanced, fair
judgements. Weikart has a thorough knowledge of the relevant historiography in
both German and English."--Alfred Kelly, Hamilton College
"Taking a middle ground between scholars on both sides, Richard Weikart has
traveled far and wide to bring together a broad range of important programs,
institutions, and thinkers who shaped the social and political ramification of
Darwinian thought in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Germany. Many
of the voices Weikart conveys appear here in English for the first time."

Book Description
From Darwin to Hitler elucidates the revolutionary impact Darwinism had on
ethics and morality throughout history. This book is a provocative yet balanced
work that addresses a wide range of topics, from the value of human life to
sexual mortality, to racial extermination.


Product Details

Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; New Ed edition (February 16, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 140397201X

 

 

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