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Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America

by

Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

View the #LINK<Table of Contents>#.   Read the #LINK<Introduction>#.

"Solinger is impressively optimistic about America's potential not only to evolve into 'a country of reproductive justice,' but also to overcome centuries of the sex, race, and class prejudice that have literally built our society.'

Bitch

"A concise historical overview. . . . Based primarily on a vast array of well-documented secondary sources, this book is a well-written and useful overview of the politics behind pregnancy in the U.S. . . . Highly recommended."

Choice

"This succinct, highly readable political and cultural history of a wide range of reproductive issues is a near-perfect primer on the topic."

Publishers Weekly

"The book is well documented and well written... I expect this book to find a place in many classrooms."

The Journal of American History

"Rickie Solinger puts today's 'culture wars' over abortion, birth control and sex education into a historical context that is rich, complex and full of surprises. A deeply researched-and highly readable-book that should reach the widest possible audience."

—Katha Pollitt, author of Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

"An extraordinary accomplishment. In a courageous exploration of American history, Solinger demonstrates how public supervision of sex and social reproduction have served to maintain racial privilege."

—Alice Kessler-Harris, author of In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America

"Pregnancy and Power definitively demolishes the myth that reproductive politics has ever been about women's choice. Rickie Solinger's brilliant and comprehensive analysis shows that, throughout U.S. history, reproductive regulation has served a social agenda that especially disadvantages women of color."

—Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

"We must all be grateful to Rickie Solinger for another of her pithy, compelling interpretive histories. Pregnancy and Power offers a thoughtful, lucid overview of reproductive issues throughout U.S. history—an extremely valuable contribution that should be widely read."

—Linda Gordon, author of The Moral Property of Women: Birth Control Politics in America

"Solinger shows how the past is truly prologue as she connects contemporary political struggles over pregnancy and pregnancy limitation to racism and colonialism in the United States"

—Loretta J. Ross, co-author, Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice

"Pregnancy and Power embraces far more than the usual perspective."

MBR: California Bookwatch

[R]eading Rickie Solinger's Pregnancy and Power felt in some ways like taking a medicinal tonic. She provides a vision of what a society dedicated to reproductive justice could be... [Pregnancy and Power] made me think— and for that, I like this book immensely.

The Women's Review of Books

A sweeping chronicle of women's battles for reproductive freedom throughout American history, Pregnancy and Power explores the many forces—social, racial, economic, and political—that have shaped women's reproductive lives in the United States.

Leading historian Rickie Solinger argues that a woman's control over her body involves much more than the right to choose an abortion. Reproductive politics were at play when slaveholders devised breeding schemes, when the U.S. government took Indian children from their families in the nineteenth century, and when doctors pressed Latina women to be sterilized in the 1970s. Tracing the diverse plot lines of women's reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the effort to control sex and pregnancy in America over time.

Solinger asks which women have how many children under what circumstances, and shows how reproductive experiences have been encouraged or coerced, rewarded or punished, honored or exploited over the last 250 years. Viewed in this way, the debate over reproductive rights raises questions about access to sex education and prenatal care, about housing laws, about access to citizenship, and about which women lose children to adoption and foster care.

Pregnancy and Power shows that a complete understanding of reproductive politics must take into account the many players shaping public policy-lawmakers, educators, employers, clergy, physicians-as well as the consequences for women who obey and resist these policies. Tracing the diverse plotlines of women's reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the struggle to control sex and pregnancy in America.

Review:

"This succinct, highly readable political and cultural history of a wide range of reproductive issues is a near-perfect primer on the topic. Independent historian Solinger (Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade) writes from a broad, multi-issue, feminist perspective, placing the struggle for reproductive freedom at the center of a variety of political battles. This approach yields unique new insights. Detailing antimiscegenation laws and common assumptions about family life and reproduction in Chinese-American communities, Solinger shows how immigration laws favoring Chinese merchant-class women over poor women 'shaped the demographics of Chinatowns around the country.' Similarly, she discusses how the relationship between civil rights and reproductive rights in the 1960s gave different cultural meanings to the 'fertile body of women of color' in the eyes of the white establishment and within the African-American community. Solinger succeeds in moving the discussion of the social and legal politics of reproduction out of a confining category of 'women's issues' and into the broader sphere of U.S. history and national politics, and her study will be helpful to anyone interested in how current debates about abortion, the morning-after pill and sex education were historically formed." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Both fascinating and troubling, this text details, with many references to primary documents, the mixed motivations behind American policies concerning birth control, from the 18th century to the present. Race plays a predominant role, both during the era of slavery and since. Also central to the story are societal and religious attitudes towards sex, whether premarital or marital, and the public applications of these attitudes. Solinger is an independent historian who has published other books on abortion, adoption, and welfare. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Despite, or perhaps because of, our lack of actual knowledge about pirates, an immense architecture of cultural mythology has arisen around them. Three hundred years of novels, plays, painting, and movies have etched into the popular imagination contradictory images of the pirate as both arch-criminal and anti-hero par excellence. How did the pirate-a real threat to mercantilism and trade in early-modern Britain-become the hypermasculine anti-hero familiar to us through a variety of pop culture outlets? How did the pirate's world, marked as it was by sexual and economic transgression, come to capture our collective imagination?

In Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash, Hans Turley delves deep into the archives to examine the homoerotic and other culturally transgressive aspects of the pirate's world and our prurient fascination with it. Turley fastens his eye on historical documents, trial records, and the confessions of pirates, as well as literary works such as Robinson Crusoe, to track the birth and development of the pirate image and to show its implications for changing notions of self, masculinity, and sexuality in the modern era.

Turley's wide-ranging analysis provides a new kind of history of both piracy and desire, articulating the meaning of the pirate's contradictory image to literary, cultural, and historical studies.

Synopsis:

A sweeping chronicle of women's battles for reproductive freedom throughout American history, Pregnancy and Power explores the many forces&#8212;social, racial, economic, and political&#8212;that have shaped womens reproductive lives in the United States.

Leading historian Rickie Solinger argues that a womans control over her body involves much more than the right to choose an abortion. Reproductive politics were at play when slaveholders devised breeding schemes, when the U.S. government took Indian children from their families in the nineteenth century, and when doctors pressed Latina women to be sterilized in the 1970s. Tracing the diverse plot lines of womens reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the effort to control sex and pregnancy in America over time.

Solinger asks which women have how many children under what circumstances, and shows how reproductive experiences have been encouraged or coerced, rewarded or punished, honored or exploited over the last 250 years. Viewed in this way, the debate over reproductive rights raises questions about access to sex education and prenatal care, about housing laws, about access to citizenship, and about which women lose children to adoption and foster care.

Pregnancy and Power shows that a complete understanding of reproductive politics must take into account the many players shaping public policy&#8212;lawmakers, educators, employers, clergy, physicians&#8212;as well as the consequences for women who obey and resist these policies. Tracing the diverse plotlines of women's reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the struggle to control sex and pregnancy in America.

About the Author

Rickie Solinger is an independent historian who lives in the Hudson Valley. Her books include Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade, The Abortionist: A Woman Against the Law, and Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780814798270
Author:
Solinger, Rickie
Publisher:
New York University Press
Author:
Sollinger, Rickie
Author:
Turley, Hans
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Abortion
Subject:
Women's Studies - History
Subject:
Women's rights
Subject:
Abortion & Birth Control
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Women's rights -- United States.
Subject:
Abortion -- Political aspects -- United States.
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Gender Studies-General
Subject:
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20051131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
312
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » Reference
History and Social Science » US History » General

Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 312 pages New York University Press - English 9780814798270 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This succinct, highly readable political and cultural history of a wide range of reproductive issues is a near-perfect primer on the topic. Independent historian Solinger (Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade) writes from a broad, multi-issue, feminist perspective, placing the struggle for reproductive freedom at the center of a variety of political battles. This approach yields unique new insights. Detailing antimiscegenation laws and common assumptions about family life and reproduction in Chinese-American communities, Solinger shows how immigration laws favoring Chinese merchant-class women over poor women 'shaped the demographics of Chinatowns around the country.' Similarly, she discusses how the relationship between civil rights and reproductive rights in the 1960s gave different cultural meanings to the 'fertile body of women of color' in the eyes of the white establishment and within the African-American community. Solinger succeeds in moving the discussion of the social and legal politics of reproduction out of a confining category of 'women's issues' and into the broader sphere of U.S. history and national politics, and her study will be helpful to anyone interested in how current debates about abortion, the morning-after pill and sex education were historically formed." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Despite, or perhaps because of, our lack of actual knowledge about pirates, an immense architecture of cultural mythology has arisen around them. Three hundred years of novels, plays, painting, and movies have etched into the popular imagination contradictory images of the pirate as both arch-criminal and anti-hero par excellence. How did the pirate-a real threat to mercantilism and trade in early-modern Britain-become the hypermasculine anti-hero familiar to us through a variety of pop culture outlets? How did the pirate's world, marked as it was by sexual and economic transgression, come to capture our collective imagination?

In Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash, Hans Turley delves deep into the archives to examine the homoerotic and other culturally transgressive aspects of the pirate's world and our prurient fascination with it. Turley fastens his eye on historical documents, trial records, and the confessions of pirates, as well as literary works such as Robinson Crusoe, to track the birth and development of the pirate image and to show its implications for changing notions of self, masculinity, and sexuality in the modern era.

Turley's wide-ranging analysis provides a new kind of history of both piracy and desire, articulating the meaning of the pirate's contradictory image to literary, cultural, and historical studies.

"Synopsis" by , A sweeping chronicle of women's battles for reproductive freedom throughout American history, Pregnancy and Power explores the many forces&#8212;social, racial, economic, and political&#8212;that have shaped womens reproductive lives in the United States.

Leading historian Rickie Solinger argues that a womans control over her body involves much more than the right to choose an abortion. Reproductive politics were at play when slaveholders devised breeding schemes, when the U.S. government took Indian children from their families in the nineteenth century, and when doctors pressed Latina women to be sterilized in the 1970s. Tracing the diverse plot lines of womens reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the effort to control sex and pregnancy in America over time.

Solinger asks which women have how many children under what circumstances, and shows how reproductive experiences have been encouraged or coerced, rewarded or punished, honored or exploited over the last 250 years. Viewed in this way, the debate over reproductive rights raises questions about access to sex education and prenatal care, about housing laws, about access to citizenship, and about which women lose children to adoption and foster care.

Pregnancy and Power shows that a complete understanding of reproductive politics must take into account the many players shaping public policy&#8212;lawmakers, educators, employers, clergy, physicians&#8212;as well as the consequences for women who obey and resist these policies. Tracing the diverse plotlines of women's reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the struggle to control sex and pregnancy in America.

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