Jane Harris-Zsovan’s Weblog

A Professional Site About Jane’s Books, Articles and Ideas

Archive for the ‘eugenics’ Category

CBC.ca | The Current | Coming Up

leave a comment »

Leilani Muir is the human face of the history I write about in Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada’s Nasty Little Secret. Anna Maria Tremonti will interview her Monday morning  on The Current. More information here: CBC.ca | The Current | Coming Up.

Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada’s Nasty Little Secret and I attended Lethbridge’s WOTS

with 2 comments

Lethbridge’s Word on the Street Festival  proved that a small city can successfully put together and event usually found only in larger cities. There were a few first year glitches and oversights, but overall, WOTS was fantastic for Alberta authors and it was wonderful promotion for the City of Lethbridge.

I loved reading from Eugenics and the Firewall  and participating in the “Getting into Writing” panel.A

Above, is a picture of some of the books, including Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada’s Nasty Little Secret, that were on sale at the University of Lethbridge Bookstore WOTS tent. (If you’re in Southern Alberta, and would like a copy of Eugenics and the Firewall, please drop by the University of Lethbridge bookstore. You’ll also find it in Chapters, McNally Robinson, Audreys, the U of T Bookstore, and dozens more independent and university bookstores throughout Canada.

You can also borrow Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada’s Nasty Little Secret from a local public library,  including the Lethbridge Public Library, The Edmonton Public Library, University of Manitoba libraries, The University of Saskatchewan Library, Toronto Public Library Queen’s University Library, and the University of Calgary Library.  Here’s a  partial listing of some of the libraries Eugenics and the Firewall is available in throughout Canada and around the world.

Part Three of My interview: Don’t blame the Progressives. Everybody (but the disadvantaged) loved Eugenics

leave a comment »

Part Three of my interview with Denyse O’Leary is up. The people who blame eugenics on a progressive ideas and social programs are going to hate what I say here: 

“It`s not our progressive heritage that made the eugenics scandal possible. It`s the dark side of populism. The self-righteous pack mentality, that allows the grassroots to demand that the rights of the socially, morally or economically defective be violated by the government. Or that turns its back when it sees these rights violated.That mindset made the Sexual Sterilization Act a political necessity under the UFA and the Social Credit administrations. It allowed it to exist for forty years. It also made racial segregation and forced sterilization of defectives and `criminals`thrive in the United States for decades. And it turned a blind eye when Hitler disbanded the German Parliament and began his holocaust of innocents.“Ahh, well, the anti-progressive types who want to remake Alberta into Texas north didn`t like me much, anyway, before I said this. So, I won`t feel much of a loss. Oh and they will absolutely hate this:

“But apparently, we still aren`t supposed mention the fact that most churches and respectable businessmen and women endorsed forced sterilization for reasons as varied as morality to the costs of housing the mentality ill. Worse yet, some national columnists keep insisting that it was only the CCF and the atheists who supported eugenics in Canada. Rubbish.“

Key Quotes from my latest media interview on eugenics

leave a comment »

Denyse O’Leary took a big risk interviewing me for her blog. For one thing, many of her ID and faith based audiences won’t like what I have to say about who supported eugenics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: “Eugenics was widely accepted by the business, academic, medical and political establishment. Preachers – in evangelical and mainline churches – even preached it from the pulpit.” Nor will their opponents: “You can believe something, insist it’s scientific and proven, and be totally wrong. Atheists and religious people are equally vulnerable to this error.”

Many more won’t like what I tell Denyse her about the political culture in Alberta: Well, I think it’s the mindset that Albertans have – that we’re pretty much on the side of right. And we have this terrible poverty mentality hanging on from the pre-oil industry days. The big cars, big houses, and rampant materialism are just symptoms of the fact that we “never want to be the poor men and women of Confederation again.”

Still more of the province’s political and business hacks will gag on what I say about the the province’s failed attempt to use the notwithstanding clause in the Canada Act to prevent the victims of the Alberta Eugenics board from getting compensation in the 1990’s:”God help anyone who threatens to take any of it away in a lawsuit. We certainly don`t want to look at the dark side of populism—the pack mentality that overrides the opinions and rights of your political opponents and of the weak.”

Part Three will be posted soon.

“New Light on Alberta’s Dark Past” in Calgary Herald, Leader Post, Canada.com Network

leave a comment »

Eugenics and the Firewall was profiled by Eric Volmers in “New Light on Alberta’s Dark Past” in the Calgary Herald yesterday.  This article also appeared in the Regina Leader Post online and Canada.com network.

Lethbridge Signing Media Release

leave a comment »

MONDAY, 7 MARCH 2011

Lethbridge Signing News Release

MEDIA RELEASE:

Harris-Zsovan to Sign Copies of Eugenics and the Firewall at Chapters Lethbridge 12 March 2011

Release: 07 March 2011

LETHBRIDGE — Lethbridge author Jane Harris-Zsovan, will sign copies of Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada’s Nasty Little Secret at Chapters,701 Ist Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, March 12, 11:00am-5:30pm. The book is published J. Gordon Shillingford and Distributed by University of Toronto Press. J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing is primarily a literary publisher that publishes theatre, poetry, Canadian social history, politics, religion, true crime, and biography. Website: jgshillingford.com.

Jane Harris-Zsovan is a Canadian author and journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. She writes for national and regional periodicals about business, faith, politics, history and contemporary issues. Her books include Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada’s Nasty Little Secret  Stars Appearing: The Galts’ Vision of Canada. and

It’s a dirty little secret the heirs to Alberta’s populist legacy don’t want Canadians to talk about. In 1928, the non-partisan United Farmers of Alberta passed the first Sexual Sterilization Act. The UFA’s successor, the Social Credit Party, led by radio evangelist William Aberhart, and later by his protégé Ernest Manning, removed the need to obtain consent to sterilize “mental defectives” or Huntington’s Chorea patients with dementia.

Between 1928 and 1972 nearly three thousand citizens were sterilized, lied to, experimented on, and subjected to daily abuse at hands of provincial staff in Alberta.

Most Albertans have forgotten the victims whose names made headlines in the 1990s, and politicians and pundits have shown little empathy for the victims. Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada`s Nasty Little Secret sets the record straight.

“It`s a valuable addition to modern Canadian historical studies. I hope it comes to the attention of professors, so that it can be included in reading lists. One of the most important aspects, as you can tell from the review, is your inclusion of the modern debate on eugenic practices.” Ian Stewart, Writer, Book Reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press.

 

Written by janeharris(harris-zsovan)

March 7, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Link to ArtsBridge article (no need to click icons)

leave a comment »

Here`s the direct link to my interview in ArtBridge. (I was interviewed by about Eugenics and Firewall by Ashley Markus) https://janeharriszsovan.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/jhz-artsbridge-interview.pdf.