Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1310380
 


 



Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Introduction and Prologue


Paul A. Lombardo


Georgia State University - College of Law


Paul A. Lombardo, THREE GENERATIONS, NO IMBECILES: EUGENICS, THE SUPREME COURT, AND BUCK V. BELL, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008
Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-11

Abstract:     
Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v. Bell (Johns Hopkins University Press) tells the story of the 1927 U. S. Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, which approved laws allowing states to perform surgery in order to prevent "feebleminded and socially inadequate" people from having children. In the Buck case the Supreme Court endorsed involuntary sterilization as a tool of government eugenic policy, setting the stage for similar laws in the majority of states. The case is most often remembered by the Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., opinion, which ended in the rhetorical climax: "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." Paul Lombardo sets out in this book to challenge the accuracy of the Holmes opinion, and recount in detail the events that brought Buck to the Supreme Court.

The Introduction to the book retraces the author's path in discovering the major documents and records that revealed the story of the Buck case, and sets forth a summary of the book's thesis and direction. The Prologue provides a brief description of the trial of Carrie Buck, and the role of Arthur Estabrook as expert eugenic witness.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: eugenics, legal history, sterilization, involuntary sterilization, Carrie Buck, Arthur Estabrook, Buck v. Bell, legal history

JEL Classification: I18, K00, K30, K32

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Date posted: December 3, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Lombardo, Paul A., Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Introduction and Prologue. Paul A. Lombardo, THREE GENERATIONS, NO IMBECILES: EUGENICS, THE SUPREME COURT, AND BUCK V. BELL, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008 ; Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-11. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1310380

Contact Information

Paul A. Lombardo (Contact Author)
Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States
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