296 pp., 5 x 8 in, 0 b&w illus.
- Published: March 12, 2024
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Rights: for sale in the US only
In a eugenics-driven future society, will one young woman's defiance make a difference?
In the not-too-distant future, England's population quality and quantity are under scientific control: Only those deemed the fittest are permitted to procreate. Women are either groomed to be “vocational mothers,” or sterilized and put to other uses. Written by an author married to one of the world's most prominent eugenics advocates, this ambivalent adventure anticipates both Brave New World and The Handmaid's Tale. When a young woman rebels against her conditioning, can she break free?
Charlotte Haldane (1894–1969) was a journalist who advocated for divorce reform and married women's employment. . . while also idealizing motherhood. In 1926, the year that Man's World was published, she married the eminent biologist J. B. S. Haldane. Her 1927 book, Motherhood and Its Enemies, made a progressive argument for easier access to contraceptives for women . . . while enraging feminists by arguing that only after having borne children could a woman be regarded as “normal.” She went on to found the Science News Service, and reported on World War II from the Russian Front.
“The whole of human relations are regulated by science in this book, and the process appears to be successful and quite inhuman.”
The Spectator (1926)
“A volatile admixture of feminist revelations with racially biased eugenic theorizing, nearly a century after its first publication, Man's World offers unique insight into its historical moment—and our own.”
Alexandra Minna Stern, Professor of English and History, UCLA; Founder and Co-Director of the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab