Book Review

 

Nicole Stell

Selden, Steven. Inheriting Shame:  The Story of Eugenics and Racism in America. Advances in Contemporary Educational Thought Series, Vol 23. New York:  Teacher College Press., 1999.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States found itself dealing with a growing interest in eugenics or “the science of human improvement through programs of controlled breeding” (xiii).  In his book Inheriting Shame: The Story of Eugenics and Racism in America, published in 1999, Steven Selden illustrates how influential eugenics had become in the educational curriculum of the United States in the early twentieth century. Selden strives to warn his fellow educators of the importance of nurturing their students and their possibilities rather than applying pseudo-science to teaching methodologies.  Selden, a professor and historian at the University of Maryland, has written a provocative and important study relevant for educators, historians, and academics of all types.  Even though his study is almost twenty years old, it examines an important aspect of American history that has relevance in today’s world of rapid scientific advances.  Continue reading “Book Review”