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Good Genes

A recent book on eugenics misses the mark.

Margaret Sanger Seated at Desk
Margaret Sanger (1883-1966), Undated. Getty Images.

Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics by Adam Rutherford (2022, Weidenfeld & Nicholson), 268 pages.

I have been writing about the history of eugenics for decades, but I never knew that Donald Trump was guilty of “straight up old-school eugenics.” That’s one of the conclusions Adam Rutherford reaches in his Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics. Rutherford bases his judgement of Trump on a few of The Donald’s throwaway lines about “good genes” during speeches in Minnesota, “a state that is more than 80 per cent White,” Rutherford breathlessly writes. 


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