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9781538753361

The Unfit Heiress The Tragic Life and Scandalous Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781538753361

  • ISBN10:

    1538753367

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2023-04-18
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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Summary

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2021 BY THE NEW YORK POST AND BOOK RIOT
NAMED A BEST TRUE CRIME BOOK OF 2021 BY CRIMEREADS


For readers of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The Phantom of Fifth Avenue, "a sensational story told with nuance and humanity" (Susannah Cahalan, #1 New York Times bestselling author) about the sordid court battle between Ann Cooper Hewitt and her socialite mother. 

At the turn of the twentieth century, emboldened American women began to seek passion and livelihood outside the home. This alarmed authorities, who feared "over-sexed" women could destroy civilization, either by crossing the color line or passing their evident defects on to their children. Set against this backdrop, The Unfit Heiress chronicles the fight for inheritance between Ann Cooper Hewitt and her socialite mother Maryon, who had her daughter sterilized without her knowledge. A sensational court case ensued, and powerful eugenicists saw an opportunity to restrict reproductive rights in America for decades to come.

This riveting story unfolds through the brilliant research of Audrey Clare Farley, who captures the interior lives of these women on the pages and poses questions that remain relevant today: What does it mean to be "unfit" for motherhood? How do racial anxieties continue to influence who does and does not reproduce? In the battle for reproductive rights, can we forgive those who side against us? And can we forgive our mothers if they are the ones who inflict the deepest wounds?

Author Biography

AUDREY CLARE FARLEY is a scholar of twentieth-century American literature and culture. She holds a PhD in English from University of Maryland, College Park. Her essay on Ann Cooper Hewitt, published in Narratively, was the publication’s second most-read story of the year. Her writing on other topics has appeared in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and many other outlets. She lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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