Synopses & Reviews
In this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism by the author of the New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming, Michelle Goldberg exposes the global war on womenas reproductive rights and its disastrous and unreported consequences for the future of global development
Womenas rights are often treated as mere appendages to great questions of war, peace, poverty, and economic development. But as networks of religious fundamentalists, feminists, and bureaucrats struggle to remake sexual and childbearing norms worldwide, the battle to control womenas bodies has become a high-stakes enterprise, with the United States often supporting the most reactionary forces.
In a work of incisive cultural analysis and deep reporting, Michelle Goldberg shows how the emancipation of women has become the key human rights struggle of the twenty-first century. The Means of Reproduction travels through four continents, examining issues such as abortion, female circumcision, and Asiaas missing girls to show how the battle over womenas bodies has been globalized and how, too often, the United States has joined sworn enemies such as Iran and Sudan in an axis of repression. Reporting with unique insight from both the rarefied realm of international policy and from individual womenas lives, Goldberg elucidates the economic, demographic, and health consequences of womenas oppression, which affect more than half the worldas population.
As The Means of Reproduction reveals, the conflict between self-determination and patriarchal tradition has come to define pressing questions of global development. Empowering women is the key to retarding the progress of AIDS, curbing overpopulation, and helping the third world climb out of poverty, but attempts to improve womenas status elicit fierce opposition from conservatives who see womenas submission as key to their own national or religious identity.
From the anticommunist genesis of Americaas attempts to stem population growth in poor countries to the current worldwide attack on womenas rights as a decadent Western imposition, Goldberg explores the interplay between the great issues of our time and the politics of sex and childbearing. Finally, The Means of Reproduction shows how women, strengthened by a solidarity that transcends borders, are fighting for freedom.
A groundbreaking new work on the global battle over reproductive rights by the author of The New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming
Award-winning journalist Michelle Goldberg shows how the emancipation of women has become the key human rights struggle of the twenty-first century in The Means of Reproduction. Deeply reported across four continents, the book explores issues such as abortion, female circumcision, and Asia's missing girls to dramatize the connections between international policymaking and individual lives. Goldberg demonstrates how women's rights are key to addressing both overpopulation and rapid population decline, reducing world poverty, and retarding the spread of AIDS. Sweeping and ambitious, this is a must-read book for feminists, health and policy workers, and anyone concerned about the future of our world.
About the Author
Michelle Goldberg is an investigative journalist and the author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, a New York Times Bestseller which was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. A former senior writer at Salon.com, her work has appeared in Glamour, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, The Guardian (UK) and many other publications, and she has taught at NYU's graduate school of journalism. The Means of Reproduction won the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Award.
Read an exclusive essays by Michelle Goldberg from 2009