The headline of this post may seem odd, but it refers to the title of a book featured on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, an historical account of what author Adam Cohen considers “one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in American history,” Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample).


It recounts the 1927 case in which the Supreme Court voted 8-1 to uphold a state’s right to forcibly sterilize a citizen deemed “unfit” to procreate. The case grew out of the eugenics movement, which Cohen details as well.

Holds are light thus far but the title zoomed up the Amazon sales rankings to #72 after Fresh Air, making it a candidate to hit best seller lists next week.

If so, it won’t be Cohen’s first best seller. He is the author of Nothing to Fear: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America which hit the NYT‘s Nonfiction Hardcover list in 2009.

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