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ERIC Number: EJ849357
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0302-1475
The Real "Toll" of A. G. Bell: Lessons about Eugenics
Greenwald, Brian H.
Sign Language Studies, v9 n3 p258-265 Spr 2009
Historian Brian Greenwald offers a revisionist interpretation of Bell. He reviews Bell's role and influence within the American eugenics movement and shows that Bell had the respect of the most prominent American eugenicists. His intimate knowledge of deafness, from personal experience with his mother and wife and from his studies of deaf people on Martha's Vineyard, caused American eugenicists to defer to him on matters related to the deaf population. Greenwald argues, therefore, that Bell could have been extremely destructive to deaf people's right to marry and reproduce as they wished. The opportunity was available for Bell to advocate invasive government eugenic measures against the American deaf population, but he did not do so. Greenwald believes that several factors explain Bell's behavior, but he concludes that Bell's personal contact with deaf people throughout his life "humanized and personalized" his approach. (Contains 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A