This book reveals the practice of eugenics in America throughout the 20th century. Thousands of normal children were held in mental institutions because they were deemed "deficient" through crude IQ tests. United States health officials wanted to keep them from having children and degrading the American gene pool, a so-called "menace of the feebleminded." While institutionalized the children were beaten, raped and forced to fight each other. The story follows the lives of a group of boys from the Fernald State School.