Eugenics and the American Religion of Wellness

Morning callisthenics at the Battle Creek Sanitarium

o you really want to be perfectly well?’ So begins a tantalizing advert in Good Health magazine in 1905. It invited the reader to the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, where countless specialists are ‘studying this one thing alone — how to get well and how to stay well.’ For $85 a week ($1,200 in today’s money), you could stay in one of the San’s 400 rooms, each with private bathrooms and hot running…

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Jules Evans

Author of Philosophy for Life and other books. Honorary fellow, Centre for the History of the Emotions. www.philosophyforlife.org.