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Sterilization of Carrie Buck Hardcover – 24 Aug 1989

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: New Horizon Press Publishers Inc.,U.S. (24 Aug. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882820451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882820453
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.9 x 23.6 cm

Product Description

About the Author

J. David Smith is Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. He earned both baccalaureate and graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University. He was awarded a second master's degree and his doctorate from Columbia University. His professional experience includes a work as a public school teacher and as a counselor. He and his wife, Joyce, served two years in Jamaica working as Peace Corps volunteers. Before coming to The University of Virginia's College at Wise as Provost, he served as Dean of the School of Education and Human Services at Longwood University. He also served as Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He began his higher education career at Lynchburg College. Smith has made numerous invited presentations to national and international audiences and regularly contributes to the professional literature on education, human services, and public policy through journal articles. He is the author of ten books. One of the integrating themes of his research and writing has been a concern for the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. Smith has devoted much of his scholarship to the study of the history of eugenics and its impact on social and educational policy, and he has also been active in addressing contemporary problems and issues in education.

David Smith is Economics Editor of The Sunday Times. He has a number of other books under his belt and is regularly on the radio and television, commentating on economics.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x88084480) out of 5 stars 1 review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88087984) out of 5 stars The Mad Scientists of Eugenics 23 Aug. 2006
By Acute Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Sterilization of Carrie Buck, by J. David Smith and K. Ray Nelson

The `Foreword' quotes Stephen Jay Gould as saying the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck was comparable to the Scopes Trial, but with a greater impact on people's lives that the belief in creationism (p.xv). Eugenics is the pure-bred descendant of Darwin's theory, an error compounded from a mistaken belief system. Chapter 1 tells of Carrie Buck's poverty-stricken childhood. She was adopted at age 3 and became a servant. She was a normal child during her 5 years of schooling (p.3). After a family member raped her, Carrie was turned out of the only home she knew by being classified as "feeble-minded" (p.5). Chapter 2 tells how Emma Buck, Carrie's mother, was committed to a state institution. It does not explain the cause. Carrie's child was adopted by the very family that claimed Carrie was "feeble-minded" (p.23)! The Superintendent of this "Colony" was a believer in eugenics (p.29). The hidden agenda of Dr. Albert Priddy was to use sterilization to provide servants or concubines to "good families" with the "normal functions of any woman" (p.33)! Dr. Priddy had been rebuked by the judge in an earlier case, Mallory v. Priddy for sterilizing a wife and daughter (p.36).

Sterilization laws had been declared unconstitutional as being class legislation (patients in state institutions) when done without due process and depriving a person of their natural right to procreate (pp.49-50). Public sentiment was against this; but when it was changed a law was passed. Then a test case was needed. The "expert witness" never met Carrie Buck (p.59)! Carrie Buck's lawyer, Irving Whitehead, was a close friend to Strode (p.86). Chapter 7 has the testimony of neighbors at the Trial. In Chapter 8 Whitehead argued that sterilization and release could spread venereal disease (pp.120-122)! Estabrook testified from a fashion cloaked as a science (p.131). There was scant scientific evidence for Carrie's "feeble-mindedness" (p.141). Research was funded by a millionaire (p.146). The Dobbs would take Carrie back if only she was sterilized (p.165)! Carrie's daughter was a normal and average student (p.171); she later died of measles.

The sterilization judgment was appealed: it deprived a citizen of the right to procreate without due process of law; it violated the Fourteenth Amendment of equal protection under the law for all; it violated the Eighth Amendment (p.175). The Trial Testimony was based on hearsay. Whitehead said upholding this law created the "worse kind of tyranny" where the state would have god-like power while the state is nothing more that a faction of politicians (p.176). Oliver Wendell Holmes took pleasure in deciding for the State of Virginia (p.178). [Senility?] This Virginia law was adopted by the Third Reich in 1933. Afterwards Carrie was placed as a domestic servant (p.187). She later married (twice), but her last years were spent in poverty.

Statistics can manipulate any body of data so as to support opposing conclusions (p.224). The young and poor from small communities were the common victims of sterilization (p.234). The looniness of eugenics advocates is shown on page 247: a cure-all for poverty and ignorance! [Poverty is the result of the Ruling Class's powers.] Elmer Pendell's poll of his students is dishonest (p.251). The eugenics falsehood still lives in the consciousness of many people (the Big Lie technique). Science knows that a lack of proper nutrition can cause many of the defects called "feeble-mindedness"; this is a result of poverty and oppression. This book lacks an index. [There used to be a "mad scientist" character in popular entertainment of the past; I now understand this.]
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