Ebook or KINDLE ( The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution) å Jonathan Eig
An extremely readable portrayal of a fascinating point in history This is a fascinating topic and I m glad that I now understand the history of the subject But I can t help feeling that there isn t enough material here for a whole book there s a lot of padding and uite a lot of repetition I could probably have got as much information from an in depth newspaper article In The Birth of the Pill Jonathan Eig tells the fascinating story of the four people whose combined efforts arguably than any others made birth control effective affordable widely available and perhaps most importantly since it makes all the
OTHERS POSSIBLE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE MARGARET SANGERpossible socially acceptable Margaret Sanger Gregory Pincus Dr John Rock and Katherine McCormickAt the time the contraceptive pill was being developed human reproduction was still very poorly understood Prudish attitudes and obscenity laws hampered scientific research discouraged and in many cases prevented doctors from educating their patients and ept women from having any significant degree of control over their own bodies or the decision to become pregnant It took a few independent minded morally driven people of unusual character to achieve change in the arena of reproductive rightsTwo of these four had spent years caring for people whose unchecked fertility threatened their own life and health and the well being of their families Women especially poor women found themselves pregnant again and again before their bodies had recovered from earlier pregnancies had medical conditions caused or exacerbated by pregnancy and childbirth or could not afford adeuate food clothing shelter and health care for their rapidly growing families Many women also found too many pregnancies burdensome as they were prevented from pursuing an education or a career or suffered from exhaustion depression and feelings of hopelessness as they found themselves caring for children than they could cope withMargaret Sanger and Dr John Rock encountered all of these problems up close and personal their birth control activism was the direct result of their experiences as reproductive health care providers Sanger worked for many years as a nurse caring for the poorest people in the slums and tenements of New York City She was so moved by the plight of these women that she risked fines and imprisonment to open the first birth control clinic as she coined the term Countless poor women who had often already fled starvation poverty and disease in their home countries found themselves unable to escape the cycle of repeated pregnancies and deepening poverty as their own bodies weakened and their meager resources were stretched ever thinner in the face of anti immigrant bias pittance wages and filthy overcrowded and dangerous living and working conditions This was also an era when women had no right of refusal of sex to their husbands They faced the awful choice of risking another pregnancy
injury or death by self performed abortion or being abandoned when few jobs were available to women and few jobs paidor death by self performed abortion or being abandoned when few jobs were available to women and few jobs paid enough to live on themselves let alone support a family And charity organizations try as they might could not Gone: The Disappearance of Claudia Lawrence and Her Father's Desperate Search for the Truth keep up with even a fraction of the demand for assistance Despite repeated arrests and fines Sanger continued to provide birth control devices and information to the who women flocked to her clinic pouring out their life stories in person and in letters like this one original spelling I am thirty years old have been married 14 years and have 11 children I haveidney and heart disease and every one of my children is defictived and we are very poor Now Miss Sanger can you please help me I am so worred and and I have cryed my self sick I 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts know I will go like my poor sister she went insane and died the doctor won t do anything for me if I could tell you all the terrible things that I have been through with my babys and children you wouldnow why I would rather die than have another one Please no one will ever Moonrise (Snowfall, know and I will be so happy and I will do anything in this world for you and your good work Doctors are men and have not had a baby so they have no pitty for a poor sick Mother You are a Mother and younow so please pitty me and help me Please Please My heart ached and my eyes tingled as I read this letter I can only imagine what Sanger felt since she met and struggled to help these women every dayDr John Rock was an obstetrician and fertility specialist While one of his main focuses was on helping women with fertility problems become pregnant he also worked with many other women for whom pregnancy childbirth and child care was detrimental to their physical and mental health for various reasons He became a staunch activist for birth control and worked to convince the public and the Catholic church of which he was a committed member that effectively planning fami. A Chicago Tribune 'Best Books of 2014' A Washington Post '50 Notable Works of Nonfiction the beautiful Katharine McCormick who owed her fortune to her wealthy husband the son of the founder of International Harvester and a schizophrenic; the visionary scientist Gregory Pincus who was dismissed by Harvard in the 1930s as a result of his experimentation with in vitro fertilization but who after he was. Ntraceptive studies if presented as such And McCormick like Sanger had marked tendency to elitismYet the contributions of these four unusual passionate driven crusaders towards improving women s health and social legal emancipation can hardly be stressed enough Women can generally have as many children as they choose when they choose and are largely not subject to the whims of men when it comes reproductive issues still mostly true despite discouraging recent regrettable retrograde legal decisions for example regarding the mandate that insurance companies pay for full reproductive health care Sanger s Pincus s Rock s and McCormick s belief that birth control would ultimately "Improve And Save The Lives Of Women "and save the lives of women improve the standard of living for families have been vindicated over the years For example women on the pill live longer on average than other women and the results of decades of study leads the World Health Organization to promote birth control as an important means of improving health and relieving poverty around the worldEig does the public a great service when he tells the story so compellingly of how the pill came to be since all of the reasons that accessible effective birth control was important then are the same reasons it s important today Very attractive I just miss the pictures Mandatory if you are gynecologist If the birth control pill was one of the most important inventions of the 20th century why is it that most people have no idea who invented it or how it came to be As I read Jonathan Eig s excellent new book on the subject it occurred to me that the answer to that uestion is probably because nobody would have believed it In this fascinating and almost unbelievable story Jonathan introduces us to the cast of characters responsible for the creation of the pill They include an eccentric millionaire heiress a radical free loving way ahead of her time feminist who flirted with socialism and eugenics a deeply religious Catholic gynecologist who believed that his work on the Pill was consistent with the teachings of his church and a rogue Jewish scientist who had been fired from his tenure track position at Harvard partly due to the radical nature of his research and partly due to anti Semitism The book reads like an entertaining and bizarre combination of a campy science fiction novel and an eclectic travelogue in which the characters lead us on a strange trip from world before the Pill to a brave new world in which it is nearly impossible to imagine life without the Pill It is also a terrific read for anyone interested in a great story about the evolution of sex in contemporary society I found myself cheering for the dedication of a humble focused and committed scientist who refused to give up his journey yet was uninterested in money and fame The story of the Pill was interesting provocative and frightening at times The extremes that the researchers were forced to seek the conditions that had to often endure the wrath of the church the difficulty finding reliable testers and all the other barriers that stood in the way I am so glad that I read this documentary It is well written and very interesting Very informative I heard the NPR special with the author before I read the book It enticed
me to read the rest of the book I am a history buff so I am used to reading denseto read the rest of the book I am a history buff so I am used to reading dense and I thought that was what the actual text would be I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book was just as engaging and thrilling as the NPR special I was also happy to find out that there was so much to the story that they weren t able to fit in to the special I couldn t put the book down and have about three people waiting to borrow it from me right now Fascinating review of the politics and science surrounding the development of the 1st oral contraceptive As a 70 yo endocrinologist who trained during the latter portion of this story The protagonists were colorful a wealthy heiress a feminist before her time and an eccentric scientist combine forces to deliver a transformational medication Just in time to control and exploding world population Too bad that much of the world cannot affort to use it or chooses not to use itWhat I find remarkable is how far we have come in the last 75 years It is hard to imagine that prior to 1950s we did not understand how the hypothalamus and pituitary control reproduction We have to thank Sir Geoffrey Harris for his groundbreaking observations that made it possible for these 3 protagonists to dream that estrogenprogesterone might suppress ovulation preventing conceptionWhat is even remarkable is the acceptance of a safe and effective form of contraception I was a high school and college student during this period it was remarkable how uickly the pill changed many thingsFound this book remarkable and enjoyable. Early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s this is a grand story of radical feminist politics scientific ingenuity establishment opposition and ultimately a sea change in social attitudes Brilliantly researched and briskly written The Birth of the Pill is gripping social cultural and scientific history 8 pages of illustrations. Lies and regulating childbirth is not only practical but of the highest moral worth since it promotes bodily and spiritual health and a loving family life in which all children can be well cared for He thought he could convince the church hierarchy that the hormonal method of birth control is consistent with Catholic teaching since it s simply an extension of the natural cycle that occurs in a woman s body rather than a barrier method with was doctrinally forbidden his rhythm method clinic taught the only form of birth control other than abstinence that was sanctioned by his religion but as he observed neither worked very well His efforts to help women control their rates of pregnancy would eventually prove effective but his efforts to convince the Church until this day have been in vainYet birth control was not only linked to beliefs in reproductive rights and health it was linked to a change in sexual s Sanger Pincus Rock and McCormick all held what we d now call sex positive beliefs they thought sex could and should be a wonderful thing among the most joyous intimate and healthy means by which humans connect with one another In a time when sex was often regarded as shameful depraved and for the sake of men I would argue that while it s re branded it still is as liberated powerful women painfully sueeze themselves into bustiers and stilettos and straighten curl bleach and cut their hair and bodies to fit into a few stereotypical male fantasy body types as possible in our crudely sex obsessed tabloid misogynistic culture yes I m talking about you too Beyonce they thought it could and should be a loving freeing and transcendent experience for both partnersDr Gregory Pincus the scientist who would ultimately formulate the first effective FDA approved birth control pill was an unusually independent minded freethinking colorful personality from an early age As a young researcher at Harvard he was widely publicized for his frank and unapologetic views on the benefits of revolutionizing human reproduction through scientific intervention The sensationalist brave new world news stories led to Harvard s icking him out of their faculty and their labs as a reputation defense measure Pincus went on to found his own research institute where he continued his research into hormones and their effects in reproduction Arguably it was this very political and financial independence from any
LARGE MAINSTREAM ESTABLISHMENT THAT ENABLED HIM TO SUCCEED INmainstream establishment that enabled him to succeed in goal to produce the first birth control pillIt also took money and lots of it as it does with any new pharmaceutical Planned Parenthood could only provide limited funding for Pincus s work so it dragged on slowly until Katherine McCormick wealthy heiress came along She had discovered shortly after she married that her new husband suffered from severe mental illness McCormick was well educated an MIT graduate at the time of her marriage and was fascinated by all things science When she learned of her husband s mental illness she poured time money and research into finding a cure especially in the fields of hormonal research and heritability She was also dedicated to women s rights causes and by the time of her husband s death her interests and fields of study and activism led to her single minded determination to aid in the cause of making birth control effective and widely accessible It was she than any other who provided Pincus the funds to pursue lab research and for he and Rock to conduct clinical trialsEig s book is not a simple hero story he reveals the history and personalities of each with their complex set of motivations warts and all Sanger was a eugenicist for example It was not uncommon for progressives scientists "And Those In The Medical Field To " those in the medical field to to the principles of eugenics at that time many thought mistakenly as it turned out that it was the only way science could really cure disability and disease once and for all Medical science humanitarian groups and governments had not yet offered systematic or effective solutions to the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth diseases caused by overcrowding and malnourishment and mental health issues and were simply unable to eep up with the demands of the humanitarian crisis in affected communities Eugenics on the other had seemed to offer the only sure and straightforward solution until the application of its principles by fascist governments revealed how faulty a science really a pseudoscience it was Sanger was also a neglectful mother unsuited by personality to the stay at home role mothers were restricted to in her time Pincus was a media hound and conducted some of his trials in what today would be considered an unethical manner Rock was willing to mislead some of his patients when he found that public attitudes made most women unwilling to participate in co. Approached by Sanger and McCormick grew obsessed with the idea of inventing a drug that could stop ovulation; and the telegenic John Rock a Catholic doctor from Boston who battled his own church to become an enormously effective advocate in the effort to win public approval for the drug that would be marketed by Searle as EnovidSpanning the years from Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the.