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Summary: In a disturbing behind-the-scenes history of the early achievements of Margaret Sanger's American birth control movement, Carole R. McCann scrutinizes the movement's compromises as well as its successes.
McCann, Carole R. : University of Maryland Baltimore
Carole R. McCann is Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
''McCann traces the birth control movement that legalized the availability of contraceptive information and devices and that facilitated wider availability of the methods of family limitation to American society. . . . [She] defines the central factors that have influenced the utilization of birth control in the twentieth-century United States. . . . This work should be widely read.''
--Journal of American History
''McCann's excellent book . . . examines the relations among birth control and feminism, the medical profession, eugenics/racial betterment, the Interracial Coalition for Birth Control, and the shift from laywomen to organization men in movement leadership. Because McCann focuses on a distinctive and carefully bounded thirty-year period, we can layer our new understandings of these relations, . . . chapter after chapter, building a very . . . rich portrait.''
--Bulletin of the History of Medicine
''Fresh, well structured, and well documented. . . . What is most valuable about this very good book is that it grapples with an issue much more portentous than Sanger's culpability or contributions: the early opportunities that public and professional discussion of female fertility provided groups with agendas antithetical to women's rights. It shows that such opportunities can be productively mined in a society deeply ambivalent about race and gender equality.''
--American Historical Review
''[This] book is uniquely valuable in situating the American birth control movement within the broader political context that alone can explain its later development.''
--Rosalind Pollack Petchesky, author of Abortion and Woman's Choice: The State, Sexuality, and Reproductive Freedom
Cornell University Press Web Site, March, 2001
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