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This title in other editions

Absolute Convictions: My Father, a City, and the Conflict That Divided America

by

Absolute Convictions: My Father, a City, and the Conflict That Divided America Cover

 

Staff Pick

For the past thirty years our country has been embroiled in a discussion about abortion. Eyal Press tells this story from the perspective of a son of one of the remaining abortion doctors in Buffalo, after Dr. Bernard Slepian is murdered. Absolute Convictions is a bold attempt to balance the polarized national debate with the private dilemmas faced in an individual?s life. A must read as we wait for our current Supreme Court to add another chapter to this epic struggle.
Recommended by Miriam, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

     On October 23, 1998, the Buffalo abortion provider Barnett Slepian was killed by a sniper’s bullet fired through the kitchen window of his home. Days later, police informed another local doctor, Shalom Press, that they had received a threat warning that he was “next on the list.” Within hours the Press household was under twenty-four-hour federal marshal protection. America’s violent struggle over abortion – which had already claimed the lives of five doctors and clinic workers – had come to Buffalo.

     In Absolute Convictions, Eyal Press returns to his hometown seeking to understand how an issue many people thought was settled decades ago could inspire such rage. Press combines a retelling of his family’s experience with firsthand accounts of protesters arrested outside his father’s office, patients who braved the gauntlet of demonstrators, and politicians who attempted to appease both sides. Through the Press family and the city of Buffalo, a blue-collar town undergoing wrenching economic changes, we see, as never before, the people behind the absolute convictions that have divided our nation for the past three decades.

     With remarkable sensitivity, Press has written both a gripping narrative account of a family and a city caught in the crossfire of moral fervor and individual rights, and an incisive history that offers new insight into the economic and social roots of America’s most volatile conflict.

Review:

"In this inside look at a battleground of the abortion debate — Buffalo, N.Y. — the son of an abortion provider examines both sides of the culture clash that envelops his Israeli father's life. Drawing comparisons with the religious fundamentalism of his father's homeland, Press takes the reader on a brisk, compelling tour of a city that saw both Operation Rescue's massive 'Spring of Life' protests in 1992 and the 1998 murder of abortion provider Barnett Slepian. Both events swirled around the lives of Press's defiant father, Shalom, who 'at the core of his identity' couldn't 'back down in the face of a threat,' and his mother, Carla, a Holocaust survivor who endured comparisons of abortion clinics to Nazi death camps. Part memoir and part reportage, Press's book provides a piercing look at local leaders of both camps and follows the dramatic arrest, confession and sentencing of Slepian's killer, James Kopp. While more insight into his father's experience would have enhanced the story, Press's incisive account of an immigrant family at the center of an American culture war is a gripping read." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"On Oct. 23, 1998, in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, a sniper shot Dr. Barnett Slepian as he stood in his kitchen. Slepian, an obstetrician and gynecologist who devoted part of his practice to performing abortions, bled to death in front of his wife and four sons. That murder led Eyal Press, the son of a colleague of Slepian's, to explore one of the most contentious issues of our times.

The... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

In 1998, one of only two doctors in Buffalo, New York, who performed abortions was shot dead by a radical antiabortion activist. The son of the surviving doctor now presents a gripping account of a family and a city caught in the crossfire of moral fervor and individual rights in the fierce battle over abortion.

Synopsis:

 
A Booklist Editors' Choice of the Year
 
On October 23, 1998, Barnett Slepian, an abortion provider in Buffalo, New York, was killed by a sniper's bullet. Days later, another local doctor, Shalom Press, received a threat that he was "next on the list." Within hours, the Press family was under police protection, and America's violent struggle over abortion had come to the blue-collar city of Buffalo. In Absolute Convictions, Press recounts his family's experience with protesters outside his father's clinic, patients who braved the gauntlet of demonstrators, and politicians who attempted to appease both sides. With remarkable sensitivity, Eyal Press "plunges into, and transcends, a polarized debate that makes partisans of us all" (The Nation).

Synopsis:

On October 23, 1998, the Buffalo abortion provider Barnett Slepian was killed by a sniper's bullet fired through the kitchen window of his home. Days later, police informed another local doctor, Shalom Press, that they had received a threat warning that he was "next on the list." Within hours the Press household was under twenty-four-hour federal marshal protection. America's violent struggle over abortion - which had already claimed the lives of five doctors and clinic workers - had come to Buffalo.

In Absolute Convictions, Eyal Press returns to his hometown seeking to understand how an issue many people thought was settled decades ago could inspire such rage. Press combines a retelling of his family's experience with firsthand accounts of protesters arrested outside his father's office, patients who braved the gauntlet of demonstrators, and politicians who attempted to appease both sides. Through the Press family and the city of Buffalo, a blue-collar town undergoing wrenching economic changes, we see, as never before, the people behind the absolute convictions that have divided our nation for the past three decades.

With remarkable sensitivity, Press has written both a gripping narrative account of a family and a city caught in the crossfire of moral fervor and individual rights, and an incisive history that offers new insight into the economic and social roots of America's most volatile conflict.

About the Author

Eyal Press is a journalist based in New York City. A regular contributor to

The Nation and The American Prospect, his articles have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and Mother Jones. He was a finalist for the 2004 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award and has received the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Science-in-Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers and Editors, and an Open Society Institute fellowship.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805077315
Subtitle:
My Father, a City, and the Conflict that Divided America
Author:
Press, Eyal
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
Abortion
Subject:
Physicians
Subject:
Abortion & Birth Control
Subject:
Murder - General
Publication Date:
20060221
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
9 illustrations and map
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.32 x 5.49 x 0.81 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Reproductive Rights
History and Social Science » Sociology » Abortion and Birth Control

Absolute Convictions: My Father, a City, and the Conflict That Divided America Used Hardcover
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$3.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805077315 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

For the past thirty years our country has been embroiled in a discussion about abortion. Eyal Press tells this story from the perspective of a son of one of the remaining abortion doctors in Buffalo, after Dr. Bernard Slepian is murdered. Absolute Convictions is a bold attempt to balance the polarized national debate with the private dilemmas faced in an individual?s life. A must read as we wait for our current Supreme Court to add another chapter to this epic struggle.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this inside look at a battleground of the abortion debate — Buffalo, N.Y. — the son of an abortion provider examines both sides of the culture clash that envelops his Israeli father's life. Drawing comparisons with the religious fundamentalism of his father's homeland, Press takes the reader on a brisk, compelling tour of a city that saw both Operation Rescue's massive 'Spring of Life' protests in 1992 and the 1998 murder of abortion provider Barnett Slepian. Both events swirled around the lives of Press's defiant father, Shalom, who 'at the core of his identity' couldn't 'back down in the face of a threat,' and his mother, Carla, a Holocaust survivor who endured comparisons of abortion clinics to Nazi death camps. Part memoir and part reportage, Press's book provides a piercing look at local leaders of both camps and follows the dramatic arrest, confession and sentencing of Slepian's killer, James Kopp. While more insight into his father's experience would have enhanced the story, Press's incisive account of an immigrant family at the center of an American culture war is a gripping read." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In 1998, one of only two doctors in Buffalo, New York, who performed abortions was shot dead by a radical antiabortion activist. The son of the surviving doctor now presents a gripping account of a family and a city caught in the crossfire of moral fervor and individual rights in the fierce battle over abortion.
"Synopsis" by ,
 
A Booklist Editors' Choice of the Year
 
On October 23, 1998, Barnett Slepian, an abortion provider in Buffalo, New York, was killed by a sniper's bullet. Days later, another local doctor, Shalom Press, received a threat that he was "next on the list." Within hours, the Press family was under police protection, and America's violent struggle over abortion had come to the blue-collar city of Buffalo. In Absolute Convictions, Press recounts his family's experience with protesters outside his father's clinic, patients who braved the gauntlet of demonstrators, and politicians who attempted to appease both sides. With remarkable sensitivity, Eyal Press "plunges into, and transcends, a polarized debate that makes partisans of us all" (The Nation).
"Synopsis" by ,
On October 23, 1998, the Buffalo abortion provider Barnett Slepian was killed by a sniper's bullet fired through the kitchen window of his home. Days later, police informed another local doctor, Shalom Press, that they had received a threat warning that he was "next on the list." Within hours the Press household was under twenty-four-hour federal marshal protection. America's violent struggle over abortion - which had already claimed the lives of five doctors and clinic workers - had come to Buffalo.

In Absolute Convictions, Eyal Press returns to his hometown seeking to understand how an issue many people thought was settled decades ago could inspire such rage. Press combines a retelling of his family's experience with firsthand accounts of protesters arrested outside his father's office, patients who braved the gauntlet of demonstrators, and politicians who attempted to appease both sides. Through the Press family and the city of Buffalo, a blue-collar town undergoing wrenching economic changes, we see, as never before, the people behind the absolute convictions that have divided our nation for the past three decades.

With remarkable sensitivity, Press has written both a gripping narrative account of a family and a city caught in the crossfire of moral fervor and individual rights, and an incisive history that offers new insight into the economic and social roots of America's most volatile conflict.

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