Praise For "From Darwin To Hitler"

Staff
Discovery Institute
August 1, 2004
Print Article

"Richard Weikart's outstanding book shows in sober and convincing detail how Darwinist thinkers in Germany had developed an amoral attitude to human society by the time of the First World War, in which the supposed good of the race was applied as the sole criterion of public policy and 'racial hygiene'. Without over-simplifying the lines that connected this body of thought to Hitler, he demonstrates with chilling clarity how policies such as infanticide, assisted suicide, marriage prohibitions and much else were being proposed for those considered racially or eugenically inferior by a variety of Darwinist writers and scientists, providing Hitler and the Nazis with a scientific justification for the policies they pursued once they came to power." -- Richard Evans, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge, and author of "The Coming of the Third Reich"

"This is one of the finest examples of intellectual history I have seen in a long while. It is insightful, thoughtful, informative, and highly readable. Rather than simply connecting the dots, so to speak, the author provides a sophisticated and nuanced examination of numerous German thinkers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who were influenced to one degree or another by Darwinist naturalism and their ideas, subtly drawing both distinctions and similarities and in the process telling a rich and colorful story." -- Ian Dowbiggin, Professor of History, University of Prince Edward Island and author of A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America

"This is an impressive piece of intellectual and cultural history--a well-researched, clearly presented argument with good, balanced, fair judgments. Weikart has a thorough knowledge of the relevant historiography in both German and English." -- Alfred Kelly, Edgar B. Graves Professor of History, Hamilton College, and author of The Descent of Darwin: The Popularization of Darwinism in Germany, 1860-1914

"This is truly a well-crafted work of intellectual history, and one directly relevant to some of the most consequential ethical discussions of our present time. Christians and all people of good will would do well to ponder these arguments, recognizing how easily the best and brightest can commit the worst and darkest under the progressive banner of biological 'health and fitness.' The book should provoke much debate and discussion, not only among historians but among ethicists and scientists too." -- Thomas Albert Howard, Associate Professor of History, Gordon College, author of Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University (forthcoming)

"The philosophy that fueled German militarism and Hitlerism is taught as fact in every American public school, with no disagreement allowed. Every parent ought to know this story, which Weikart persuasively explains." -- Phillip Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Law, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Darwin on Trial and Reason in the Balance

"If you think moral issues like infanticide, assisted suicide, and tampering with human genes are new, read this book. It draws a clear and chilling picture of the way Darwinian naturalism led German thinkers to treat human life as raw materials to be manipulated in order to advance the course of evolution. The ethics of Hitler's Germany were not reactionary; they were very much 'cutting edge' and in line with the scientific understanding of the day. Weikart's implicit warning is that as long as the same assumption of Darwinian naturalism reigns in educated circles in our own day, it may well lead to similar practices." -- Nancy Pearcey, co-author of The Soul of Science and How Now Shall We Live

"Richard Weikart's masterful work offers a compelling case that the eugenics movement, and all the political and social consequences that have flowed from it, would have been unlikely if not for the cultural elite's enthusiastic embracing of the Darwinian account of life, morality, and social institutions. Professor Weikart reminds us, with careful scholarship and circumspect argument, that the truth uttered by Richard Weaver decades ago is indeed a fixed axiom of human institutions: 'ideas have consequences.'" -- Francis J. Beckwith, Associate Director, J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, and Associate Professor of Church-State Studies, Baylor University