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Social Mendelism

Social Mendelism
Genetics and the Politics of Race in Germany, 1900–1948


  • Publication planned for: January 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108499491

c.£ 26.99

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About the Authors
  • Who was the scientific progenitor of eugenic thought? Amir Teicher challenges the preoccupation with Darwin's eugenic legacy by uncovering the extent to which Gregor Mendel's theory of heredity became crucial in the formation - and radicalizing - of eugenic ideas. Through a compelling analysis of the entrenchment of genetic thinking in the social and political policies in Germany between 1900 and 1948, Teicher exposes how Mendelian heredity became saturated with cultural meaning, fed racial anxieties, reshaped the ideal of the purification of the German national body and ultimately defined eugenic programs. Drawing on scientific manuscripts and memoirs, bureaucratic correspondence, court records, school notebooks and Hitler's table talks as well as popular plays and films, Social Mendelism presents a new paradigm for understanding links between genetics and racism, and between biological and social thought.

    • Challenges long-accepted 'truths' in popular notions of twentieth-century biology and Nazi policies
    • Utilizes a rich variety of evidence to investigate the relationship between biological and social thought
    • Offers a clear, accessible approach to the social impact of science in history
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: January 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108499491
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 24 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Mendel's laws and their application to humans, 1865–1913
    2. Mendelism maturing: from experimental to interpretative framework, 1913–1933
    3. Mendelism, purity and national renewal
    4. Annihilating defective genes: Mendelian consciousness and the sterilization campaign
    5. Mendelizing racial antisemitism
    Epilogue: social Mendelism beyond the Nazis.

  • Author

    Amir Teicher, Tel-Aviv University
    Amir Teicher is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Tel-Aviv University.

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