Creating Born Criminals

Author: Nicole Hahn Rafter
Paper – $25
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1998
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About the Book

Genetic screening, new reproductive technologies, gene therapies, and the reality of cloning all make biological solutions to human social problems seem possible. Creating Born Criminals shows how history can guide us in our response to the reemergence of eugenics. The first social history of biological theories of crime in sixty years, it examines those theories' origins and content, showing their undue influence on crime control in the United States.

"A comprehensive historical review of biological theories of crime, with an emphasis on eugenics and the defective delinquent movements. . . . Well written, with extensive citations to the relevant literature. Recommended." -- Choice

"Solid scholarship, good thinking, and good reading. It should be of interest to a wide range of audiences." -- Al Pisciotta, author of Benevolent Repression: Social Control and the American Reformatory-Prison Movement

"Extremely polished, graceful, and persuasive." -- Ellen Dwyer, author of Homes for the Mad: Life inside Two Nineteenth-Century Asylums


Winner of the Hervey B. Wilbur Historic Preservation Award given by the American Association on Mental Retardation, 1999.