The eugenics movement of the early 20th century is a dark chapter in our nation's history. And while we may think of it as a practice we've long since abandoned, the truth is a bit more complicated.
Beginning in 1907, as many as 60,000 people deemed defective or genetically inferior were forcibly sterilized across America. It was a practice sanctioned by our government and one which didn't officially end until the 1980s.
Today, victims still fight for reparations while notes of the eugenics movement echo in the politics of our divided nation. Join us as we speak with experts on the topic to trace the origin and impact of this dark and misguided movement.
- Alexandra Minna Stern - Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan and the author of Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America
- Adam Cohen - Co-editor of The National Book Review and author of Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck
- Robert Farwell - Executive Director of the Otis Library in Norwich, Connecticut
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on January 31, 2017.