Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics Audiobook, by Adam Rutherford Play Audiobook Sample

Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics Audiobook

Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics Audiobook, by Adam Rutherford Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Greg Patmore Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.00 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: March 2023 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9798212234795

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

71:44 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

04:23 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

44:56 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Adam Rutherford: > View All...

Publisher Description

How did an obscure academic idea pave the way to the Holocaust within just fifty years?

Control is a book about eugenics, what geneticist Adam Rutherford calls “a defining idea of the twentieth century.” Inspired by Darwin’s ideas about evolution, eugenics arose in Victorian England as a theory for molding the British population, and quickly spread to America, where it was embraced by presidents, funded by Gilded Age monopolists, and enshrined into racist American laws that became the ideological cornerstone of the Third Reich. Despite this horrific legacy, eugenics looms large today as the advances in genetics in the last thirty years—from the sequencing of the human genome to modern gene editing techniques—have brought the idea of population purification back into the mainstream.

Eugenics has “a short history, but a long past,” Rutherford writes. The first half of Control is the history of an idea, from its roots in key philosophical texts of the classical world all the way into their genocidal enactment in the twentieth century. The second part of the audiobook explores how eugenics operates today, as part of our language and culture, as part of current political and racial discussions, and as an eternal temptation to powerful people who wish to sculpt society through reproductive control.

With disarming wit and scientific precision, Rutherford explains why eugenics still figures prominently in the twenty-first century, despite its genocidal past. And he confronts insidious recurring questions—did eugenics work in Nazi Germany? And could it work today?—revealing the intellectual bankruptcy of the idea, and the scientific impossibility of its realization.

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“Control is persuasive, sensible, and ultimately reassuring, but it is not complacent…To know history is ‘to inoculate ourselves against its being repeated,’ Rutherford argues. From that perspective, this book is a shot worth having.”

— Guardian (UK) 


  • “Rutherford’s swift, well-written account of these fascinating scientific and moral issues is well worth a read.”

    — The Times (UK)
  • “A clear-sighted look at the past and present dangers of eugenics. Rutherford tells [the story] with great concision and with clarity, both scientific and moral.”

    — Financial Times (UK)
  • “A remarkable combination of intelligence, knowledge, insight, and admirable political passion, on a serious moral problem in contemporary society.”

    — Carlo Rovelli, New York Times bestselling author

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About Adam Rutherford

Adam Rutherford is a science writer and broadcaster. He is an editor at Nature, writes for the Guardian, and regularly presents programs for BBC Radio 4 in the UK. He has also presented several acclaimed science series for BBC television, including the award-winning three-part series The Cell. A geneticist by training, he has a PhD from University College London.

About Greg Patmore

Greg Patmore became an actor and voice artist in his midforties and has enjoyed a varied career on stage, screen, and in the voice-over studio ever since. Books have always played a huge role in his life. He won an Audie Award in 2019, an Audiofile Earphones Award in February 2019, and was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2018. Best known on TV as Good ’Lias Hatfield in the Golden Globe and Emmy award–winning Hatfields & McCoys, alongside Kevin Costner, Greg is also a composer and musician, lives as much as possible on a beautiful Dutch Barge somewhere in the middle of France, and is a passionate follower of Rugby League and supporter of the world famous Wigan Warriors.