The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in U.S. History

October 23, 2012 • United States, News

There is a new book on population, authored by Derek Hoff, associate professor of history at Kansas State University. The book, which is a comprehensive history of population politics in the United States running from the Founding Fathers through to present day, is excellent. It is titled The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in U.S. History (University of Chicago Press). Below are several short reviews.

You can also listen to an interview with Derek Hoff here:

Paul R. Ehrlich | Author of The Population Bomb and The Dominant Animal

“After decades of failed efforts by the scientific community to alert the public to the environmental dangers of population growth and overpopulation, a first-rate historian has finally detailed both the arguments and their policy implications. Derek S. Hoff has taken a comprehensive look at the debates in the United States between those who realize as Malthus did that the growing population will sooner or later outstrip Earth’s capacity to support people and those who imagine that there are no limits to that growth. Everyone interested in population should read The State and the Stork. This is an incredibly timely book.”

Robert Collins | University of Missouri

“Derek Hoff has taken an important, complicated topic and traced it over the whole of American history. The research on display here is striking in its breadth and depth, Hoff’s insights are penetrating, and his interpretation is original. The State and the Stork is a solid piece of scholarship.”

Michael A. Bernstein | Tulane University

The State and the Stork takes up an enduring but often ignored question in modern American political history. How precisely have debates concerning the dynamics of population expansion affected the development of modern public policy and statecraft in the American experience?

Strangely enough, there has been little in the way of recent scholarship that directly addresses this query-nor has there been a genuine effort to construct a narrative that spans the entirety of American history and squarely confronts it. It is this gap in the literature that Derek S. Hoff fills in a significant and original fashion.”

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