Albert Edward Wiggam (1871-1957) was an American psychologist and populariser of eugenics. He was called “one of the most influential promoters of eugenic thought”. He had exceptional skills as a popular lecturer (Wikipedia). Wiggam was the author of several widely selling books with eugenics themes, including:
- The New Decalogue of Science. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1923.
- The Fruit of the Family Tree. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill company, 1924.
- The Next Age of Man. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill company, 1927.
He also was a populariser of psychology.
Diane Paul’s discussion of popularising eugenics in Controlling Human Heredity helps interpret Wiggam’s work.
Wiggam (1927) “Shall I Marry This Man?”
To demonstrate Wiggam’s approach to popularising eugenics, I frequently point students in the direction of this piece, which appear in 1927 in the magazine, Good Housekeeping. This magazine had a specific demographic, which is important for appreciating the focus in this article. Appreciating Wiggam’s success as an author requires an appreciation for his ability to connect with his audience.
The complete citation is: Albert Edward Wiggam (1927), “Shall I Marry This Man?” Good Housekeeping 84 (June): 28-29, 253-254, 257-258, 261-262, 265-266.