Psychologist and historian Marilyn Brookwood chronicles how a band of young psychologists in 1930s Iowa shattered the nature-versus-nurture debate and overthrew long-accepted racist and classist views of childhood development.
... gripping, meticulously researched ... The bracing revelation of Brookwood’s book is that these essential lessons in countering the effects of neglect and disadvantage came frighteningly close to disappearing without a trace. Discovering that past helps us recognize just how far we still have to go to provide opportunities to help all young minds realize the promise they possess.
... excellent ... In chronicling a major intellectual battle of the 20th century, The Orphans of Davenport offers scientists a cautionary, timeless tale about groupthink’s power to subvert the dispassionate analysis of new findings. It is also yet another sobering reminder of how specious science can be wielded to justify evil ends—with the attendant suffering of those least able to defend themselves.
With this riveting history of an unsung scientific breakthrough in the 1930s, psychologist Brookwood tells how U.S. state and federal governments, backed by mainstream psychologists, had for decades enforced eugenicist policies ... A remarkable unsung history, told with empathy, nuance, and a knack for character-driven storytelling.