Good Blood, Bad Blood: Science, Nature, and the Myth of the Kallikaks, 2nd Edition
This is the 2nd edition of the award-winning history of the impact of the American eugenics movement—the pseudoscience aimed at improving “racial hygiene”—on people with disabilities. The eugenics movement swept through America in the early 20th century, resulting in the mass institutionalization and the forced sterilization of tens of thousands of people with disabilities and people identified as defective or undesirable. Eugenics was at the foundation of the Nazi atrocities to “improve” the race. The starting point for this book is The Kallikak Family, a 1912 pro-eugenics fictional tale by Henry Herbert Goddard.
Goddard’s Kallikak ancestral lines offered “proof” for the eugenic beliefs in the hereditary nature of low intelligence, criminal behavior, and degeneracy. Good Blood, Bad Blood focuses on the life of that work’s central character, a woman institutionalized as a child at the turn of the century for being allegedly “feebleminded.” The 2nd Edition includes perspectives on disability history from leaders in the disability community, plus a timeline to help the reader follow the many overlapping events during the time periods discussed.