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American and the Pill (10 Edition)by Elaine Tyler May
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
In 1960, the FDA approved the contraceptive commonly known as the pill.” Advocates, developers, and manufacturers believed that the convenient new drug would put an end to unwanted pregnancy, ensure happy marriages, and even eradicate poverty. But as renowned historian Elaine Tyler May reveals in America and the Pill, it was women who embraced it and created change. They used the pill to challenge the authority of doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and lawmakers. They demonstrated that the pill was about much more than family planning—it offered women control over their bodies and their lives. From little-known accounts of the early years to personal testimonies from young women today, May illuminates what the pill did and did not achieve during its half century on the market.
"University of Minnesota historian May hits pay dirt with this brief but lively history of oral contraceptives on the 50th anniversary of 'the pill.' She places the pill in its historical context: coming in the middle of the baby boom, it helped fuel a nascent sexual revolution, a growing youth culture that challenged authority, and feminism. Drawing on an Internet survey she conducted, May offers a treasure trove of stories about a medical and cultural movement that convinced a whole generation of women they were 'free to take sex, education, work and even marriage when and how they like.' Nearly 12 million women in the U.S. today take the pill — and take it for granted. 'I just couldn't picture a fully functioning society without it!' one pill user proclaims. Still, May (Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era) tosses away a unique chance to bring history to life by revealing in only a brief aside that her parents were involved in the early development and distribution of the pill." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the first oral contraception, popularly known as "the pill". Drawing from scientific, historical, and pop culture references, May (American studies and history U. of Minnesota) explores the pill's initial promise to end overpopulation, poverty, and dysfunctional marriages in comparison to its vastly different reality 50 years later. While failing to fulfill its original prospects, the pill has played an important role in the women's liberation movement, affected social evolution, and created new issues among religious and political leaders. May exposes the myths associated with oral contraception and the problems faced by women today in regards to accessibility, cost, and side effects. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A revealing new look at the groundbreaking form of contraception that enabled women to control their lives and transform the world
About the Author
Elaine Tyler May is Regents Professor in the Departments of American Studies and History at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of several books, including Homeward Bound and Barren in the Promised Land. She has contributed to Ms., the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and more. She is 2009-2010 President of the Organization of American Historians. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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