The historian Cor Hermans wrote a bulky, but highly readable and interesting thesis on social Darwinism, in which he paid most attention to what connected the social Darwinists. This was, most of all, the high value they set on the concepts of selection and, joined to it, elimination: the disposal of the socially weak.
It’s his merit that he has placed Darwin himself clearly in the foreground as originator of the debate on social evolution in the second half of the nineteenth century. Against this there is the drawback that Mr Hermans has not resisted the temptation to walk every side-road he encountered in his long trail of study. He needs quite a lot of space to both distinguish and connect all the diverse currents. (…) In spite of these critical remarks, in my final verdict appreciation for this clever piece of work of Mr Hermans takes precedence.