Did you know that there was a time when America was attempting to get rid of those whom it felt was unworthy to reproduce. By those unworthy, it meant mothers who they considered unintelligent, or deficient, for the most part, mentally. If you didn’t know, it’s time you read the book Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by author Adam Cohen who has also written the NY Times best seller Nothing to Fear: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America.
According to Deadline, Imbeciles is to have a film adaptation, and the tentative title is Unfit. Interesting accounts of history are often buried in the pages of books such as this, and it’s always a grand thing to have it reproduced for television or the big screen. This nonfiction story shows just how wrong laws are often upheld, but at the same time, must be fought against and taken down.
Here is a complete write up from Amazon on the book which follows this particular portion of Carrie Buck’s life:
“In 1927, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling so disturbing, ignorant, and cruel that it stands as one of the great injustices in American history. In Imbeciles, bestselling author Adam Cohen exposes the court’s decision to allow the sterilization of a young woman it wrongly thought to be “feebleminded” and to champion the mass eugenic sterilization of undesirable citizens for the greater good of the country. The 8–1 ruling was signed by some of the most revered figures in American law—including Chief Justice William Howard Taft, a former U.S. president; and Louis Brandeis, a progressive icon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, considered by many the greatest Supreme Court justice in history, wrote the majority opinion, including the court’s famous declaration “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
Imbeciles is the shocking story of Buck v. Bell, a legal case that challenges our faith in American justice. A gripping courtroom drama, it pits a helpless young woman against powerful scientists, lawyers, and judges who believed that eugenic measures were necessary to save the nation from being “swamped with incompetence.” At the center was Carrie Buck, who was born into a poor family in Charlottesville, Virginia, and taken in by a foster family, until she became pregnant out of wedlock. She was then declared “feebleminded” and shipped off to the Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded.
Buck v. Bell unfolded against the backdrop of a nation in the thrall of eugenics, which many Americans thought would uplift the human race. Congress embraced this fervor, enacting the first laws designed to prevent immigration by Italians, Jews, and other groups charged with being genetically inferior.”