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

The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution Jonathan Eig
  • Title: The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution
  • Author: Jonathan Eig
  • ISBN: 9780393351897
  • Page: 104
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution Jonathan Eig The Birth of the Pill How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution We know it simply as the pill yet its genesis was anything but simple Jonathan Eig s masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters the fiery feminist Margaret Sanger who was a champi
    We know it simply as the pill, yet its genesis was anything but simple Jonathan Eig s masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters the fiery feminist Margaret Sanger, who was a champion of birth control in her campaign for the rights of women but neglected her own children in pursuit of free love the beautiful Katharine McCormick, who owed her fortuneWe know it simply as the pill, yet its genesis was anything but simple Jonathan Eig s masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters the fiery feminist Margaret Sanger, who was a champion of birth control in her campaign for the rights of women but neglected her own children in pursuit of free love the beautiful Katharine McCormick, who owed her fortune to her wealthy husband, the son of the founder of International Harvester and a schizophrenic the visionary scientist Gregory Pincus, who was dismissed by Harvard in the 1930s as a result of his experimentation with in vitro fertilization but who, after he was approached by Sanger and McCormick, grew obsessed with the idea of inventing a drug that could stop ovulation and the telegenic John Rock, a Catholic doctor from Boston who battled his own church to become an enormously effective advocate in the effort to win public approval for the drug that would be marketed by Searle as Enovid.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 feminist politics, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes Brilliantly researched and briskly written, The Birth of the Pill is gripping social, cultural, and scientific history.
    • UNLIMITED PDF ☆ The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution - by Jonathan Eig
      104 Jonathan Eig
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      Posted by:Jonathan Eig
      Published :2019-09-14T11:25:28+00:00

    About Jonathan Eig


    1. Jonathan Eig is the author of five books, three of them New York Times best sellers He is a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal His most recent book is Ali A Life, hailed as an epic by Joyce Carol Oates in her New York Times review His previous books are Luckiest Man The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig Opening Day The Story of Jackie Robinson s First Season Get Capone and The Birth of the Pill He is now at work with Ken Burn on a PBS documentary about the life of Muhammad Ali.


    660 Comments


    1. This is an epic adventure starring four unlikely heroes two middle aged doctors, Gregory Pincus, fired by Harvard, and John Rock, a Catholic and two older ladies, Margaret Sanger, who left her first husband and family and grew increasingly addicted to alcohol and prescription pills, and Katharine McCormick, whose mentally ill husband died and left her with a huge fortune she dug into the birth control movement.From testing progesterone on rabbits to the desperate hunt for human test subjects in [...]

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    2. In early 2012, Mitt Romney got blindsided Not by a question on the national debt, Iran, or immigration One of the panelists at a Republican primary debates asked Mitt if he favored banning birth control Mitt looked stunned I thought that was settled, he said Who raised the question, or some such thing One can hardly fault Mitt To those of us old enough to have lived through the development of The Pill and all it signified, these issues seemed politically and culturally set in place by the late s [...]

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    3. It s always a joy to find a non fiction book that s both engaging and informative Reading The Birth of the Pill How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution reminded me very much of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks chances are if you liked that book, you ll enjoy this one In telling the story of the various people and processes that came together in order to introduce the birth control pill, Jonathan Eig offers a well written, interesting narrative that fleshes out the various [...]

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    4. This may be one of the if not the best micro history non fiction books I ve ever read This was fantastic.A well written page turner, with just enough heart and historical context to make it a truly understandable read I m not sure I can recommend this enough.Eig focuses on 4 of the main actors in the search for the creation of a science based, pill form of birth control There is Margaret Sanger, the aging founder of Planned Parenthood Katherine McCormick, one of the first women to graduate from [...]

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    5. Okay, this is one of the most interesting non fiction books I have ever read It felt like every fact that was brought up which there are a lot of , I wanted to write down to save and remember I even started to do that, but there s so many that I am already forgetting Not only is it interesting from a feminist perspective, I also thought the narrative of scientific experiments and trials, as well as the interaction that the development of the pill had with culture and eugenics, to be fascinating [...]

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    6. I heard author Eig on Book TV tell about this book and knew I simply had to read it Little did I know that I would find myself is almost every chapter I graduated from high school in 1953, married in 1955, and had my 4th child in 1961 Babies just kept coming In 1961 two things happened my husband had a vasectomy AND he went to work for Parke Davis Pharmaceutical as a detail man It was not until then that we knew that a pill was on its way He had to keep abreast of where P D s Norlestrin was in t [...]

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    7. Made it to page 85 and I m bored to tears So far this is reading like a way too detailed biography of one of the main scientists behind the creation of the pill and I m getting bogged down my too much info I don t care about On to the next one

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    8. Quotable Sex for the pleasure of women To many, that idea was as unthinkable in 1950 as putting a man on the moon or playing baseball on plastic grass Worse, it was dangerous What would happen to the institutions of marriage and family What would happen to love If women had the power to control their own bodies, if they had the ability to choose when and whether they got pregnant, what would they want next Two thousand years of Christianity and three hundred years of American Puritanism would co [...]

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    9. This book contains a lot information than I needed or wanted to know about the development of the birth control pill It focuses on four people who were central in The effort Most of the scientific research happened in the 1950s and involved very little money that mostly came from one woman One of the interesting things is that there is not a patent on the pill as the major developer chose not to obtain one Another interesting thing is that Planned Parenthood and its predecessors did not play a [...]

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    10. It was rather horrifying to read about the plight of women in the early 20th century and before , forced to have child after child because of a lack of understanding about the workings of human reproduction, with the additional taboo added on preventing women from even talking about such things, or suggesting that they have control over their own bodies How heartbreaking to learn about woman after woman having 5 or 8 kids or risking back alley abortions because she couldn t say no to her husband [...]

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    11. Straightforward, solidly written and researched history of the birth control pill Eig brings together the major players, the culture at the time, and the salient facts that ultimately culminated in the pill being brought to market which includes some surprisingly shady behavior from those involved The narrative is a bit bumpy with some confusing chronology and hamfisted attempts at cliffhangers, and there is nothing especially impressive about the prose Once in a while, Eig s own unconscious sex [...]

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    12. This book was really interesting, but it also felt somewhat disingenuous The author tried to turn the four crusaders into hero figures, but none of them, except for the Catholic O.B even seemed like nice people And the author really downplayed Margaret Sanger s Eugenics beliefs in order to make her palatable as the heroine of the story Basically, though, she wanted birth control in part to control the undesirables blacks, poor people, etc from continuing to populate the earth The author rightly [...]

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    13. The Birth of the Pill is an absolutely fascinating history of not only what must be the most important technical development of the 20th century, but a look at so many concepts that have changed over the last 60 years The size and control of pharmaceutical companies The lack of money involved except for Searle and Jack Searle who showed great bravery I did not realize that in most parts of the world, birth control was illegal Certainly in most states I also did not realize that Margaret Sanger w [...]

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    14. This book tells a moderately interesting story in a strong narrative voice Eig tells us of four people a feminist Margaret Sanger , a millionaire, a researcher, and a Catholic doctor who have the goal of developing a pill that prevents pregnancy Pincus, the researcher, is to me, the most interesting He is a man who fails and fails at multiple things and yet never gives up his very pioneering spirit and ultimately achieves his goals I found his story inspirational.McCormick, a wealthy widow, also [...]

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    15. 4.5 5 The only criticisms I have have for this book are that at times it was a little repetitive, and I found the timeline jumped around a bit too much for my liking That being said the story of the creation of the pill is truly fascinating and as a young woman in my twenties, the idea that the pill was at one point in time highly controversial had never really occurred to me until I heard of this book Eig has done an amazing job of turning these four crucial figures into fully realised people, [...]

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    16. So good to get back into reading non fiction again This is an educational and very readable history of the birth control pill, from its clinical development to its obstacles with the Catholic Church and its debate about its morality But no one can argue that it hasn t made a huge difference in women s lives, rights, health, and ultimate sexual freedom.

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    17. Keep your rosaries out of my fucking ovaries Pretty much what I was thinking while reading this The stats, the individual stories, and how much opposition the team of 4 faced it is a captivating story, but also enraging and relevant to the fight over a woman s body that is STILL a fight thanks to the Gynoticians on the Hill.

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    18. Pretty amazing details that I never knew like the fact that research on the pill was basically funded and fueled by older, wealthy women Plenty of great insights into something that profoundly changed the prospects for women and a rapid read, which was a pleasant surprise An excellent read given today s political climate as well to remind us of what women have achieved.

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    19. This was an interesting read and made me completely grateful that women now have a choice about when or when not to have children.

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    20. An informative but easy read covering various currents in birth control in the 60 years leading up to its debut It was a pill so revolutionary, so important that it immediately became known as The Pill, and still is, over 50 years later The author frequently compares it to its other great contemporary, the Salk vaccine The book is heavy on biography, particularly of Margaret Sanger, who I definitely needed to know about she s been popping up in other reading of mine I always thought that the se [...]

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    21. My sister recommended this to me over TWO YEARS ago It sounded dry, so I didn t jump on it It is a really compelling story A must read to further understanding of the issues women face and of the progress we ve made in research ethics.

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    22. I am booking this one under the slogan The you know and am glad that I received some education One the other hand it was disheartening to realize, that we are still discussing similar topics to this day I just wished that there was a true separation of state and church and that elected official s religious beliefs wouldn t impact the lives of women the way they do.

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    23. I had a lot of fun reading this book I m also very passionate about sexual health and constantly reading articles about this topic Jonathan Eig wrote it in a very riveting way that kept me engaged and supportive to the cause of pushing The Pill onto the market through all the religious and political hurdles during the 1950s Eig wrote about the four people in such a personalized manner that I felt like I got to know them as their lives and careers developed The Pill was very revolutionary in ways [...]

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    24. When I first heard about this book I was than interested I had used the pill before, but importantly, I m always interested in scientific breakthroughs and how they came to be The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or just the history of a big scientific topic The Emperor of all Maladies , so learning about how the Pill was discovered and how it came to be one of the most popular contraceptives to date was certainly down my alley The book focuses on the roles of Margaret Sanger, Katharine McCorm [...]

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    25. This was really a very interesting read It is less about the women who were involved in the early trials for the Pill than it is about the four individuals who spearheaded the research and funding for the Pill Margaret Sanger the crusader , Katharine McCormick the millionaire activist , John Rock the Catholic doctor , and Gregory Pincus the scientist The hoops they had to jump through with first the drug companies, then Planned Parenthood who began pulling away from Sanger and losing interest in [...]

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    26. I wasn t expecting to see any of my own experiences reflected in this book, a timely must read on the history of the birth control pill But indeed, the most valuable lesson I took from Jonathan Eig s fascinating and well written story was that politics matters, science matters, and social justice matters I had a Catholic doctor as a young woman in the 1980s who refused to prescribe the Pill even when there was a non contraceptive medical need, forcing me to go to Planned Parenthood for a prescri [...]

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    27. Not a bad read, but some kind of iffy moments throughout, especially regarding subject consent Essentially, in the early stages, the pill was tested on 1 women who thought they were contributing to research on fertility treatments which was not entirely false , 2 women in an insane asylum, and 3 women in Puerto Rico, all of which would be huge no nos nowadays Then, there was the issue of potential long term side effects being waved away when the Pill was rolled out thousands of women essentially [...]

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    28. This was a fascinating look at the history of birth control Science, religion, risks, medicine, families, gender equality and a bit of insanity played a part.

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    29. This fascinating tale made me grateful to live in the time and place that I do I hadn t realized that the creation of the birth control pill was so fraught with political and religious drama In fact I discounted the Pill because in my little indignant mind I thought why should the woman have to bear the responsibility of birth control Why shouldn t there be a Man Pill I was very naive Yes there should be a Man Pill But that is not the point The point is that women needed to have this control ove [...]

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    30. My 3rd First Reads Giveaway winning was the most interesting thus far I believe anyone interested in the progression of women s independence and rights , along with anyone curious as to how the pill was created, should add this book to their Must Read lists I could not put this book down, I was that eager to see what came next in Goody, McCormick, and Sanger s plans to make their revolutionary idea a reality I use quotations for the world revolutionary, because most viewed the development of the [...]

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