The Birth of the Pill

The Birth of the Pill : How Four Pioneers Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution

3.97 (1,667 ratings on Goodreads)
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In the winter of 1950, Margaret Sanger, then 71, who had campaigned for women's right to control their own fertility for five decades, met a visionary scientist with a dubious reputation, Gregory Pincus. In The Birth of the Pill, Jonathan Eig tells the extraordinary story of how, prompted by Sanger, and then funded by the widow and philanthropist Katharine McCormick, Pincus invented a drug that would stop women ovulating. With the support of John Rock, a charismatic and, crucially, Catholic doctor from Boston, he succeeded. Spanning the years from Sanger's heady Greenwich Village days in the 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 feminism, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 24mm | 295g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • Pan Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Main Market Ed.
  • 1447234812
  • 9781447234814
  • 174,865

Review quote

Brilliant ... reads like a thriller ... For all the criticisms levelled at it in later years, the Pill's philosophical impact has been as significant as its physical effect. Its advocates deserve this vivid and life-affirming history. -- Joan Smith Observer Riveting ... written with pace and clarity, The Birth of the Pill is a vivid portrait of four brilliant and courageous misfits. -- Frances Wilson Daily Telegraph Rousing and involving ... a reminder of just how hard-fought, cobbled-together and compromise-ridden are the histories of some of the social structures we take for granted. Independent on Sunday Jonathan Eig's vivid book is a rebuke to all those who lambast the Pill for unleashing promiscuity, family break-up and other Sixties sexual revolutionary sins: he reminds us that for women the pre-contraceptive world was vicious, poor and hard. -- Janice Turner The Times The American journalist Jonathan Eig is neither a woman nor, indeed an expert of women's reproductive health (his previous bestsellers, as he points out, were about 'ballplayers and gangsters'). Rather gamely, considering the sensitivities and politics involved, he's chosen to write a history of the development of the birth control pill - and he carries it off with wit, verve and scholarly research. -- Isobel Lerwick Financial Timesshow more

About Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig, a former senior special reporter at the Wall Street Journal, is the author of three highly acclaimed books, two of which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. His first book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig (Simon & Schuster, 2005), won the Casey Award for best baseball book of 2005; his second book, Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season (Simon & Schuster, 2007), was named one of the best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, and The Washington Post. In his third book, Get Capone (Simon & Schuster, 2010), Eig discovered thousands of pages of new material on Capone, affirming his trustworthy reporting reputation in what The New York Times called a "multifaceted portrait," a "gore-spattered thriller," and "as much a dark history of urban America between the world wars as it is another mobster's life story." And in The Birth of the Pill, Eig again tackles an enormous volume of unexamined personal correspondence in this original and richly-textured more
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