H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences

"While most eugenics studies focus on cases empowered by nation-states, few have examined ethnic minorities pursuing independent or competing eugenic agendas. Georgescu offers the Saxon case study as a model against which to investigate how other minorities responded to, and sometimes advanced, the rise of biological determinism more generally. The particular significance of the Saxon case study is that it sought practical means to implement its eugenic policies. Saxon eugenicists responded to their minority status and strong assimilatory pressures with an increasingly radical eugenic discourse that sought the support of a complementary fascist movement (the Self-Help movement) in the 1920s. Georgescu persuasively demonstrates that an interwar ethnic minority could pursue an ambitious eugenic agenda without statehood (and even with state opposition). While the church necessarily remained central to eugenic discourse due to its social significance and infrastructure, Saxon eugenicists embraced Saxon fascism as the natural route for implementing national renewal. Saxon eugenics provide an excellent case study for comparison to other interwar ethnic minorities that might have done the same."
Reviewed book: 
Tudor Georgescu
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