This article analyzes both the reconstruction of the history of eugenics put forward by Lucetta Scaraffia and Oddone Camerana in their book, and its reception in the Italian press. Berlivet starts by challenging the thesis set out by the authors about the rise of eugenics, namely that its success coincided with the coming of age of science popularization and that, conversely, the popularization of eugenics was the vehicle that allowed scientists to attain a lasting hegemony over the Western world. He goes on discussing the direct link established by the authors between eugenics and the Darwinian approach to evolution. Then, he explores the reviews of the book that came out on Italian newspapers and magazines. The article ends with an attempt to shed light on the bizarre historical amnesia that allows journalists and historians alike to periodically "rediscover" the extent of the popularity that eugenics once enjoyed and, simultaneously, to reaffirm the importance of historical memory.
Keywords: Eugenics, Science popularization, Darwinism, Public history