With and Without Galton: Vasilii Florinskii and the Fate of Eugenics in Russia - cover image

Copyright

Nikolai Krementsov

Published On

2018-09-24

ISBN

Paperback978-1-78374-511-1
Hardback978-1-78374-512-8
PDF978-1-78374-513-5
HTML978-1-80064-563-9
XML978-1-78374-621-7
EPUB978-1-78374-514-2
MOBI978-1-78374-515-9

Language

  • English

Print Length

694 pages (xxvi + 668)

Dimensions

Paperback156 x 35 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.39" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 38 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.5" x 9.21")

Weight

Paperback2117g (74.68oz)
Hardback2524g (89.03oz)

Media

Illustrations49

OCLC Number

1056677315

LCCN

2019452974

BIC

  • PDX
  • PDR
  • BGT

BISAC

  • SCI034000
  • HIS010010
  • HIS037060
  • POL060000

LCC

  • HQ755.5.S65

Keywords

  • history
  • biography
  • eugenics
  • science
  • medicine
  • Russia
  • USSR
  • Francis Galton
  • Vasilii Florinskii
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With and Without Galton

Vasilii Florinskii and the Fate of Eugenics in Russia

In 1865, British polymath Francis Galton published his initial thoughts about the scientific field that would become ‘eugenics.’ The same year, Russian physician Vasilii Florinskii addressed similar issues in a sizeable treatise, entitled Human Perfection and Degeneration. Initially unheralded, Florinskii’s book would go on to have a remarkable afterlife in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russia. In this lucid and insightful work, Nikolai Krementsov argues that the concept of eugenics brings together ideas, values, practices, and fears energised by a focus on the future. It has proven so seductive to different groups over time because it provides a way to grapple with fundamental existential questions of human nature and destiny. With and Without Galton develops this argument by tracing the life-story of Florinskii’s monograph from its uncelebrated arrival amid the Russian empire’s Great Reforms, to its reissue after the Bolshevik Revolution, its decline under Stalinism, and its subsequent resurgence: first, as a founding document of medical genetics, and most recently, as a manifesto for nationalists and racial purists. Krementsov’s meticulously researched ‘biography of a book’ sheds light not only on the peculiar fate of eugenics in Russia, but also on its convoluted transnational history, elucidating the field’s protean nature and its continuing and contested appeal to diverse audiences, multiple local trajectories, and global trends. It is required reading for historians of eugenics, science, medicine, education, literature, and Russia, and it will also appeal to the general reader looking for a deeper understanding of this challenging subject.

Reviews

Several aspects of this book stand out: as an open access book, it offers enormous amounts of detailed description and over 150 pages of references to primary and secondary sources. For any researcher of any number of topics pertaining to the history of Russian science and academic institutions, this book is a treasure trove. The author’s work of translation, both literally and also in the sense of richly contextualising texts and events, is nothing short of remarkable in its painstaking detail.His writing is clear and engaging.

Maria Burcur

"Nikolai Krementsov, With and Without Galton. Vasilii Florinskii and the Fate of Eugenics in Russia". Social History of Medicine (0951-631X), vol. 32, no. 3, 2019. doi:10.1093/shm/hkz048

Full Review

Contents

1. The Author: Vasilii Florinskii

(pp. 25–72)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.01

2. The Publisher: Grigorii Blagosvetlov

(pp. 73–124)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.02

3. The Book: Darwinism and Social Hygiene

(pp. 125–182)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.03

4. The Hereafter: Words and Deeds

(pp. 183–236)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.04

5. Rebirth: Eugenics and Marxism

(pp. 239–292)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.05

6. Resonance: Euphenics, Medical Genetics, and Rassenhygiene

(pp. 293–350)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.06

7. Afterlife: Medical Genetics and “Racial” Eugenics

(pp. 351–408)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.07

8. Science of the Future: With and Without Galton

(pp. 409–460)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.08

Apologia: The Historian’s Craft

(pp. 461–494)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.09

Notes

(pp. 495–654)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.10

The Faces of Eugenics: Local Mirrors and Global Reflections

(pp. 1–22)
  • Nikolai Krementsov
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0144.11

Contributors

Nikolai Krementsov

(author)
Professor at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at University of Toronto