Chana's Reviews > Savage Grace

Savage Grace by Natalie Robins
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's review
May 10, 2009

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bookshelves: memoirs-and-biographies, true-crime, sociology
Read in May, 2009 , read count: 1

Isn't it ironic that the man who delivered a lecture at Johns Hopkins and said,
"What is the outlook for the next generations? Is it not time to put less pride in the increasing number of our populations, and to look more into the matter of quality? It is quite right that we should try to restrain the immigration of undesirables. But shall we continue forever to encourage the promiscuous breeding of the unfit, degenerates, criminals, and the insane, while keeping on ignoring the biological facts of heredity? If so, more unemployables, more hospitals, lunatic asylums, poorhouses and prisons."
should have a great grandson who was a paranoid schizophrenic who committed murder and spent years in an asylum and eventually committed suicide?
No one in the Baekeland family seemed to be capable of a stable home life and long-term loving relationships. Barbara seemed manic and needy to me, coming to pieces totally when Brooks left her. She was just pitiful and Tony was completely affected as well. Tony was a shattered human being and I guess there were many causes including a very mixed-up and degraded sexuality, years of drug abuse, an unstable home life that was jet-setting everywhere and living nowhere, violence and pretentious good manners, constant parties and name-dropping. He probably had a genetic propensity for his mental illness as well. The whole story was very sad, especially his release from Broadmoor and subsequent desertion in New York. No one would give him the time of day. Where were all those people who had worked for his release? The consequence of living with all those pictures of his mother, the whole thing had such a tragic inevitability. Too, too sad.

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05/06/2009 page 204
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