Faces of Degeneration

Faces of Degeneration : A European Disorder, c.1848-1918

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This book investigates the specific conception and descent of a language of 'degeneration' from 1848-1918, with particular reference to France, Italy and England. Daniel Pick shows how in the refraction and wake of evolution and naturalism, new images and theories of atavism, 'degenerescence' and socio-biological decline emerged in European culture and politics. He indicates the wide cultural and political importance of the idea of degeneration, whilst showing that the notion could mean different things at different times in different places.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 10 b/w illus.
  • 1139240218
  • 9781139240215

Table of contents

1. Contexts; Part I. France: 2. Degenerescence and revolution; 3. Zola's prognosis; 4. The wake of degenerescence; Part II. Italy: 5. Lombroso's criminal science; Part III. England: 6. Fictions of degeneration; 7. Crime, urban degeneration and national decadence; 8. Concluding remarks.show more

Review quote

'Pick has made a remarkable contribution here to a comparative understanding of degeneration theory and suggested new ways to study the spread and meaning of medical culture.' Robert A. Nye, Medical History 'An account of Faces of Degeneration would demand another book, which would never be as good as the one Pick has written.' Eugen Weber, The Times Literary Supplement ' ... essential intellectual historical background for the history of anthropology in the later 19th century.' George Stocking, American Ethnologist 'Dr Pick's study makes a distinguished addition to CUP's series 'Ideas in Context'. Granted the standards already established it would be difficult to offer higher praise.' Michael Biddis, French Historyshow more