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Eugenic NationFaults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America$
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Alexandra Minna Stern

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285064

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285064.001.0001

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Race Betterment and Tropical Medicine in Imperial San Francisco

Race Betterment and Tropical Medicine in Imperial San Francisco

(p.28) Chapter 1 Race Betterment and Tropical Medicine in Imperial San Francisco
Eugenic Nation

Alexandra Minna Stern

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, where West Coast eugenics initially coalesced under the aegis of the Race Betterment Foundation. It describes the context in which advocates of race betterment from across the country united in the cosmopolitan city of San Francisco to articulate a vision of human improvement for the twentieth century. One of the striking features of this race betterment project is the extent to which it was shaped by colonial medicine, particularly tropical medicine as implemented in the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Panama Canal. Moreover, the racial imperatives behind colonial medicine—as well as concepts and practices such as quarantine and prophylaxis—not only informed eugenics, it also became entwined in the American public health mentality.

Keywords:   West Coast eugenics, Race Betterment Foundation, race betterment, human improvement, colonial medicine, American public health

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