Right now I’m reading Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen. It’s about Buck v. Bell, the 1927 Supreme Court decision on forced sterilization, and the shocking breadth of the surrounding eugenics movement. It’s leaving me frequently speechless and the writing is great. I recommend it.
I join the chorus (here are just two examples) of those recommending J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. It has a voice and message so strong that I worry about diluting and trivializing it by even discussing it. It’s good enough to resist commentary a bit.
More than that, even, I’m a bit embarrassed to pull only politics from a rich and interesting memoir. But, like so many others, I have politics on the brain at the moment (also, shout out to the new show BrainDead!), and I can’t help myself, so here we go.