Extreme Measures: The Dark Visions And Bright Ideas Of Francis Galton (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/10/31
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A lively biography of one of the Victorian era's most eccentric and unorthodox scientific minds profiles Sir Francis Galton's remarkable life and scientific accomplishments, especially his influence on the fledgling field of genetics. 10,000 first printing.
Galton is an interesting person and an important figure in world history. But this slim biography has entirely too much of the author interjecting himself into the narrative to denounce Galton for his unfashionable ideas. Mr. Brookes seems to live in horror of the thought that anyone might think that he thinks the same way as Galton. Over and over he stops the exposition to make it clear that he thinks Galton is some kind of monster.
Who needs all this? No one who would read this book would fail to know that Galton was the founder of Eugenics. Nor would they know that Eugenics was once very popular and now is out of favor. Indeed one of the main reasons why anyone would want to read this book is to try to understand why eugenics was once so powerful an idea. No one cares what Mr. Brookes thinks.
I've never read a biography of Hitler. Is it like this? Do you have to endure the narrator constantly telling you what a bad man Hitler was and how he the author doesn't agree with Hitler or his ideas?
I probably will have to read Galton's own autobiography. But it's pretty expensive.
This version of his life story is a good read; choose it instead of Gillham's version unless you want to get into the actual science of what he was doing. One major fault of the Brookes book: it doesn't have an index. Gillham's book has an extensive one.
What would make a Galton biography one step better: more analysis of why Galton became who he was and perhaps a deeper look into his own writings, along with the impact that Galton has on science and psychology today.
For more info on Galton, go to the website [...]