Adam Cohen

marlene lopez

Adam Cohen is a former member of the New York Times editorial board and senior writer for Time magazine. He is the co-editor of The National Book Review. His previous books include Nothing to Fear: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America, The Perfect Store: Inside eBay, and American Pharaoh: Richard J. Daley, His Battle for Chicago and the Nation (co-author). Cohen is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck (Penguin Press), was nominated for a National Book Award in nonfiction. In 1927, when the nation was caught up in eugenic fervor, the justices allowed Virginia to sterilize Carrie Buck, a perfectly normal young woman, for being an “imbecile.”  But the most troubling actors of all were the eight Supreme Court justices who were in the majority – including William Howard Taft, the former president; Louis Brandeis, the legendary progressive; and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., America’s most esteemed justice, who wrote the decision urging the nation to embark on a program of mass eugenic sterilization.