This Just In: Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck

imbecilesOne of America’s great miscarriages of justice, the Supreme Court’s infamous 1927 Buck v. Bell decision made government sterilization of “undesirable” citizens the law of the land.  This decision led to the sterilization of 70,000 Americans.

This book is a page turner on this scary chapter in American history.  Author Adam Cohen tells the dark story the Supreme Court’s decision to champion eugenic sterilization for the greater good of the country. In 1927, when the nation was caught up in eugenic fervor, the justices allowed Virginia to sterilize Carrie Buck, a perfectly normal young woman, for being an “imbecile.”

Listen to the NPR program “Fresh Air” discuss this book and story here.