Eugenics in the Garden - pr_84489

Eugenics in the Garden

Transatlantic Architecture and the Crafting of Modernity



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Winner, Robert Motherwell Book Award, Outstanding Book on Modernism in the Arts, The Dedalus Foundation, 2019 As Latin American elites strove to modernize their cities at the turn of the twentieth century, they eagerly adopted the eugenic theory that improvements to the physical environment would lead to improvements in the human race. Based on Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's theory of the "inheritance of acquired characteristics," this strain of eugenics empowered a utopian project that made race, gender, class, and the built environment the critical instruments of modernity and progress. Through a transnational and interdisciplinary lens, Eugenics in the Garden reveals how eugenics, fueled by a fear of social degeneration in France, spread from the realms of medical science to architecture and urban planning, becoming a critical instrument in the crafting of modernity in the new Latin world. Journeying back and forth between France, Brazil, and Argentina, Fabiola Lopez-Duran uncovers the complicity of physicians and architects on both sides of the Atlantic, who participated in a global strategy of social engineering, legitimized by the authority of science. In doing so, she reveals the ideological trajectory of one of the most celebrated architects of the twentieth century, Le Corbusier, who deployed architecture in what he saw as the perfecting and whitening of man. The first in-depth interrogation of eugenics' influence on the construction of the modern built environment, Eugenics in the Garden convincingly demonstrates that race was the main tool in the geopolitics of space, and that racism was, and remains, an ideology of progress.

Product code: 9781477314951

ISBN 9781477314951
Dimensions H254xW178
Series Lateral Exchanges: Architecture, Urban Development, and Transnational Practices
No. of pages 312
Publisher University of Texas Press
The first book to link eugenics with urban planning and the built environment, this volume traces how the "science" of race improvement spread from medicine to architecture as Latin Americans pursued a utopian project of modernization.