By Julia V. Douthwaite
A number of academic experiments did not tame those feral young children through the factors of the day. After telling their tales, Douthwaite turns to literature that displays on related experiments to excellent human topics. Her examples variety from utopian schemes for innovative childrearing to philosophical stories of lively statues, from progressive theories of regenerated males to Gothic stories of scientists run amok. Encompassing thinkers comparable to Rousseau, Sade, Defoe, and Mary Shelley, Douthwaite exhibits how the Enlightenment conceived of mankind as an infinitely malleable entity, first with optimism, then with apprehension. Exposing the darker facet of eighteenth-century proposal, she demonstrates how advances in technology gave upward thrust to troubling moral matters, as mom and dad, scientists, and politicians attempted to excellent mankind with disastrous results.
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