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‘Beyond the facts’: how a US sociologist made John Stuart Mill into a Neo-Malthusian

Stack, D. (2018) ‘Beyond the facts’: how a US sociologist made John Stuart Mill into a Neo-Malthusian. Historical Research, 91 (154). pp. 772-790. ISSN 1468-2281

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1468-2281.12246


This article explores the roots of the characterization of John Stuart Mill as a ‘Neo‐Malthusian’. Making extensive use of the Norman E. Himes Papers, held at the Countway Library of Medicine, it shows that Himes, a U.S. sociologist and committed birth control campaigner in the inter‐war period, framed a characterization of Mill that endures to this day. The article demonstrates how and why Himes repeatedly took his arguments ‘beyond the facts’, partly in response to a dispute with the British birth control campaigner Marie Stopes, and established the practice of referring to Mill as a ‘Neo‐Malthusian’. The article concludes by arguing that the term impedes more than it aids our understanding and Mill scholars would benefit from stripping away decades of accreted interpretation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:68749


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