The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 1

The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 1 : The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928

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The birth control crusader, feminist, and reformer Margaret Sanger was one of the most controversial and compelling figures in the twentieth century. The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 1 is composed of Sanger\u2019s letters, diaries, journals, articles, and speeches, most of which have not appeared previously in print. Now in paperback, the book documents the critical phases and influences of an American feminist icon and offers rare glimpses into her working-class childhood, burgeoning feminism, spiritual and scientific interests, sexual explorations, and diverse roles as wife, mother, lover, nurse, journalist, radical socialist, and activist.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 576 pages
  • 138.2 x 263.1 x 36.8mm | 925.34g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 025202737X
  • 9780252027376

Review quote

Mesmerizing letters from the days when birth control was legally obscene and jail sentences were regularly given out for talking about it in public. Nearly a century ago, Margaret Sanger was defending woman's 'ownership of her own body' and linking access to contraception to civil liberties and personal freedom. Rights we take for granted have a long and sometimes surprising history that comes clear on these pages. Required reading for our own time, whichever side of Roe v. Wade you are on." -- Linda K. Kerber, author of No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship "These wonderful letters, diary excerpts, and essays dramatize women's long struggle for respect, self-awareness, independence, influence, and control over our bodies and our lives. To contemplate Margaret Sanger's harsh reality and the enduring vision of this courageous pioneer--while the war against women escalates on every front--is a heartening and galvanizing act of rebellion. Esther Katz and her splendid team have given us all a very great gift." -- Blanche Wiesen Cook, University Distinguished Professor, John Jay College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, and the author of Eleanor Roosevelt, volumes 1 and 2 "This engrossing volume, meticulously edited and selected, captures Margaret Sanger in all her complexity during a formative period in her long career. Open to practically any page, and something will grab your historical attention." -- Susan Ware, editor of Notable American Women, volume 5 "[Katz et al.] have done their editing with scrupulous care, they have annotated the documents they reproduce with monk-like dispassion... Sanger is a thoroughly fascinating figure, and the book makes for compulsive reading." --David Tell, The Weekly Standard "The work of Katz and her team is critical for a fuller understanding of first-wave feminism, family planning, and one of the century's most interesting women." -- Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering "Birth control was understood to be a tool of working-class liberation that would stall the capitalist engine and improve wages by limiting the supply of future workers. How the birth control movement (and, it could be argued the Left in general) began with such radical, expansive politics, and devolved into a struggle for the much narrower goal of individual privacy, is just one of the fascinating stories that will develop across this four-volume set of Margaret Sanger's papers... Every document is scrupulously annotated to identify unfamiliar people, places, events, and terminology... An absorbing volume that provides an excellent introduction to Sanger's life and work for the novice as well as an edifying source for the serious researcher." -- Social Service Review "Because Sanger knew everyone in the world associated directly with sexual reform or research and, for a time, was very active in radical politics, her range of correspondents was enormous, from sexologists such as Havelock Ellis, to birth control pioneers such as Mary Stopes, to the communist Emma Goldman, the labor organizer Big Bill Haywood, the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr., and writers and intellectuals such as H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw... [The project] is scholarship at its highest level and when complete will be a standard work of reference for anyone interested in the development of birth control or the history of sex education not only in the United States but also in the rest of the world. It will also record the life of one of the most influential women of the twentieth century." -- Archives of Sexual Behavior "This collection is a welcome addition to Sanger scholarship. It allows readers to explore all aspects of her complex life and ideas. Readers might find her admirable and inspiring, then turn the page and find her maddening, arrogant, or irresponsible. Introductions to each section add context; readers can provide their own interpretations. The collection offers a wonderful window into Sanger and the early-20th-century U.S." -- CHOICEshow more

About Margaret Sanger

Esther Katz is the director and editor of the Margaret Sanger Papers Project and associate professor of history at New York University. She is the coeditor of Women's Experience in America.show more

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