The success of eugenics in the Usa, a nation that prides itself on its tradition ofindividualism and personal freedom, requires an adequate explanation. The aim ofthis article is to show how eugenic theories that flourishedin the late nineteenth andearly twentieth century derived from the technocratic political culture of theProgressive Era. Eugenics, in other words, was part of the projects of socialengineering and social planning that many American progressives consideredessential for the management and betterment of modern industrial society. In thisperspective, leading progressive intellectuals saw eugenics as a genuine branch ofsocial science and eugenic policies as an indispensable tool in the quest for socialcontrol.
Keywords: Eugenetica, Stati Uniti, età progressista, darwinismo sociale, razza,scienza sociale, ingegneria sociale, tecnocrazia