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Description - In Reckless Hands by Victoria F. Nourse

In the 1920s and 1930s, thousands of men and women were sterilized at asylums and prisons across America. Believing that criminality and mental illness were inherited, state legislatures passed laws calling for the sterilization of "habitual criminals" and the "feebleminded." But in 1936, inmates at Oklahoma's McAlester prison refused to cooperate; a man named Jack Skinner was the first to come to trial. A colorful and heroic cast of characters-from the inmates themselves to their devoted, self-taught lawyer-would fight the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Only after Americans learned the extent of another large-scale eugenics project-in Nazi Germany-would the inmates triumph. Combining engrossing narrative with sharp legal analysis, Victoria F. Nourse explains the consequences of this landmark decision, still vital today-and reveals the stories of these forgotten men and women who fought for human dignity and the basic right to have a family.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393065299
ISBN-10: 0393065294
Format: Hardback
(244mm x 165mm x 25mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Victoria F. Nourse

Victoria F. Nourse received her JD degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Currently the Burrus-Bascom Professor of Criminal and Constitutional Law at the University of Wisconsin, she lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin.