Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine

Breeding and Eugenics in the American Literary Imagination

Heredity Rules in the Twentieth Century

Authors: Luczak, Ewa Barbara

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About this book

A disturbing but ultimately discredited strain in American thought, eugenics was a crucial ideological force in the early twentieth century. Luczak investigates the work of writers like Jack London and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, to consider the impact of eugenic racial discourse on American literary production from 1900-1940.

About the authors

Ewa Barbara Luczak is Associate Professor of American Literature at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland. She is the author of How Their Living Outside America Affected Five African American Authors: Toward a Theory of Expatriate Literature.

Reviews



"Luczak offers a broad cultural history of eugenic thinking while at the same time providing remarkably fresh and compelling interpretations of three important writers. Through her extensive acquaintance with the science, social theories, laws, and literature associated with eugenics, Luczak shows a masterly command of the arguments made on behalf of theories we may now dismiss as marginal or retrograde when in fact they once occupied a position of privilege and surprising authority in early twentieth-century American thought." - Eric J. Sundquist, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Johns Hopkins University, USA

"A penetrating interpretation of the reach of eugenics in the early twentieth-century American literary imagination. Luczak's sharp analysis elucidates the pervasive and textured presence of themes and metaphors of breeding, degeneration, and perfection in the oeuvres of three prolific authors known for their poignant ruminations on gender, race, and westward expansion. This book complicates our understanding of eugenics as a literary and political force at the heart of American modernism." - Alexandra Stern, Professor of American Culture, University of Michigan, USA

"Grounded in extraordinary archival research and informed by both theoretical sophistication and sensitivity to textual nuance, this pathbreaking and revelatory book will be required reading for historians and literary scholars alike. Luczak's decision to center her compelling study on Jack London, Kate Chopin, and George Schuyler proves absolutely inspired as she not only challenges conventional wisdom regarding their work but also uses her trenchant analysis to mount a wide-ranging, energetic, boldly provocative, and unflinching engagement with the troublingly pervasive impact of eugenics thought in American culture." - Richard Yarborough, Professor of English & African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 74,96 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54579-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54578-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Breeding and Eugenics in the American Literary Imagination
Book Subtitle
Heredity Rules in the Twentieth Century
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-54579-4
DOI
10.1057/9781137545794
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-54578-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 275
Topics