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With and Without Galton

Nikolai Krementsov


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1As is always the case with any scholarly work, this book bears the mark of numerous individuals who helped me conceive, research, write, and, finally, publish it. First and foremost, I am greatly indebted to Mark B. Adams, who encouraged and nurtured my interest in the history of eugenics over the nearly thirty years of our friendship. Our numerous conversations (in person, by phone, and via countless emails) deeply influenced my thinking about and writing up this book.

2A major part of any historical study is gathering all possible information about its subjects: individuals, institutions, ideas, times, and places. Given the multitude of themes, characters, and locales examined in this book, I would have never been able to do it all by myself. I owe the greatest debt of gratitude to the unsung heroes of historical profession — archivists and librarians. This book benefited tremendously from the generous assistance offered by the staff members of numerous Russian and North American archives, libraries, and museums, including the Archives of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Arts, the Russian State Historical Archive, the Russian State Military-Historical Archive, the State Archive of the Sverdlovsk Region, the Manuscript Department of the Institute of Russian Literature, the Manuscript Department of the Russian National Library, the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian National Library, the Fundamental Library of the Military-Medical Academy, the Rare Book Collection of the Scientific Library of Moscow University, the Russian State Library, the Museum of the History of Medicine of the Sechenov First Moscow Medical University, the National Museum of the Tatarstan Republic (Kazan), the US National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, MD), the Libraries of the University of Toronto, the Library of the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, PA), and the Lilly Library of Indiana University (Bloomington, IN).

3The help of many colleagues, including Aleksandra Bekasova, Anastasia Fedotova, Julia Laius, Galina Savina, Nataliia Semenova, and Marina Sorokina, in my search for necessary documents, illustrations, and publications was indispensable. Nikolai Bogdanov, Sergei Fokin, Mikhail Konashev, Susan G. Solomon, and Daniel P. Todes generously shared with me their own precious archival finds and their expertise in various areas of Russian history covered in the present volume. Valerii Puzyrev helped obtain copies of several rare publications, as well as a “Florinskii Medal” issued by the Military-Medical Academy in 1990, and shared with me his recollections about his involvement with publishing Florinskii’s book in 1995. Dmitrii Kozlov and Artem Borisov provided much appreciated assistance in copying materials in various archives and libraries in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

4My students at the University of Toronto willingly served as “experimental subjects” for testing some of the major ideas elaborated in this book. In 2013 and 2015, graduate students at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology joined me in exploring the historical developments of eugenics at a research seminar on “The Rise of Eugenics: A Comparative History.” Our sometimes animated discussions sustained my interest in and excitement about the project, and also helped hone and refine my arguments.

5Numerous colleagues, including Francesco Cassata, Michael D. Gordin, Diane B. Paul, Valerii Puzyrev, Susan G. Solomon, and Marina Sorokina patiently heard and/or read pieces and bits of this book at various stages in its development and offered helpful criticisms and suggestions. I am particularly indebted to Mark B. Adams, Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Nathaniel Comfort, Daniel P. Todes, and John Waller, each of whom read the entire manuscript, for their thoughtful comments that helped improve the book in many significant ways.

6Several institutions provided financial support for my work for which I am very grateful. Funding for research leading to this book came from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, while its publication was facilitated by a generous grant from the University of Toronto’s Victoria College.

7The editorial team of Open Book Publishers made the production of this book nearly painless.

8My family stoically endured my long absences during frequent research trips to Russia and fostered my obsession with this project in every possible way — I would not have done it without their support.

9Naturally, I alone bear the responsibility for any mistakes and misinterpretations.


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