'Frank Dikötter's book challenges us to scrutinise the ethical and political implications of all medical or science-based legislations... A first-rate account of the role that eugenics has played and is playing in China. It gives a message of support to those isolated voices in China who are struggling to shift the monolithic one-party state from supporting eugenic practices on the basis of what is often antiquated medical knowledge.' - Olivier Burckhardt, The Independent

'Dikötter provide a generally nuanced and certainly much-needed empirical perspective on contemporary Chinese eugenics. His book should do much to raise the level of discussion of policies that are decried more often than understood.' - Diane B. Paul, American Historical Review

'Essential reading… In this crisply argued study, Frank Dikötter breaks free from the cultural essentialism that typifies much of the field of sinology, and instead approaches China as an integral part of the modern world… should be read by anyone who seeks to understand the controversy over human rights in China today.' - Ruth Rogaski, Medical History

'This is a very well researched work on eugenics in China... this is a book that breaks new ground and challenges widely held assumptions.' Dominic Lee, Pacific Affairs

'Frank Dikötter is a master at writing short but provocative cultural histories... his bibliographic breadth is impressive.' Journal of Asian Studies

'A thoroughly researched and insightful treatment of a topic of both current and historical interest and, with the development of new genetic technologies, increasing importance.' - Rania Huntington, SOAS Bulletin

'When I was a small child, I would visit my grandmother, who would spend several minutes each visit pulling the lobes of my ears with force, hoping that I would be endowed with wealth and wisdom. This book helped me to understand why... He manages to convey complex ideas in a lucid and engaging manner, careful not to overgeneralise or, much as he might be tempted, sensationalise sensitive topics such as infanticide.' -Morris Low, China Journal

'Dikötter has compellingly argued that the ideas of controlling the quality of children born and the responsibilities of parents to the state have deep roots and these old ideas have blossomed in the hothouse of a one-party state.' - Molly Sutphen, Journal of the History of Medicine

'Frank Dikötter is one of today’s most imaginative and stimulating historians of modern Chinese thought and culture. The compact book under review is his third since 1992, and it shows him to be continuing his hot pursuit of a body of closely related issues on nation, race, gender, and eugenics that resonate from book to book. He also continues to find creative approaches to topics with fresh and unusual data and to exercise an astute, intuitive mode of analysis.' - Laurence Schneider, China Review International

'I can only advise all students of modern and traditional China to read this book as an excellent piece of research on the social construction of "normality" that does not merely blame China, but places it into an international context of eugenic practices and debates on the pros and cons of eugenics.' - Barend ter Haar, China Information