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93 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But a Few Things I Would Change or Add
I want to start off by saying that I enjoyed this book. It is a shame that a book like this will mostly be read by "the choir": people who already agree with most or all of what the author is saying. Its prose is well-written and its message is important.

I think that my favorite parts of the book were the sections on how our moralities on food and sex have...
Published on March 15, 2012 by John G. Burford IV

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Analysis of the Fallout from a Contracepting Culture
The author is an excellent communicator and offers compelling consequences of a contracepting culture.

The book immediately grabbed my attention and I read it within 5 days! It started out strong, but had disjointed, individual essays as chapters and did not offer solutions to the epidemic of a contracepting culture.

The research was pretty good,...
Published 23 months ago by Lynn M. Griesemer


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93 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But a Few Things I Would Change or Add, March 15, 2012
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This review is from: Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Hardcover)
I want to start off by saying that I enjoyed this book. It is a shame that a book like this will mostly be read by "the choir": people who already agree with most or all of what the author is saying. Its prose is well-written and its message is important.

I think that my favorite parts of the book were the sections on how our moralities on food and sex have flip-flopped in the past 50 years and on how we view pornography in much the same way that people 50 years ago looked at tobacco. These commentaries were really quite excellent.

In short, the author shows how 50 years ago, food was just a matter of personal tastes and not a matter to get greatly morally concerned over. Nowadays things are quite different, with the explosion of rhetoric about vegetarianism, sustainability, organic foods, fair trade, ethical treatment of livestock, and so on.

Conversely, 50 years ago sexual practices perceived as immoral (divorce, abandonment of your spouse, STDs, homosexuality, out of wedlock pregnancies, pornography, etc.) were commonly and widely looked down upon. Now, those matters are viewed as matters of personal taste and moralizing about them is frowned upon, since they are really nobody's business but the individual person's.

I also enjoyed the comparison of pornography consumption today to tobacco consumption 50 years ago: frequent appeals to personal liberty, denial of science, a sense of resignation that things could ever change, and so on. Of course, things did end up changing, and they changed primarily by the American public's stigmatizing of the behavior.

I did have two criticisms/suggestions though. First, I wish that the author had done more to actually make the case that contraception is bad, pornography is bad, and so on. Usually the author would just make the claim and then footnote the studies. I think that in order to change the mind of anyone who disagreed with her thesis, she would do well by including some actual data in the book itself.

The second thing I wish the author would have done is talk more about where things are going, what the prospects of reform are, what suggestions she has for reformers, etc. I think that this would go well with the parts where she's linking tobacco consumption and pornography and where she's discussing the rise of social conservative groups on college campuses. I think that such a section would make a great last chapter, and I hope that if this book ends up getting a second edition, that that will be included.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Counting the cost of the sexual revolution, May 30, 2012
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This review is from: Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Hardcover)
It has been said that "To live without love is a tragedy; to live without sex is inconvenient." But in a sex obsessed culture which is also spiritually numb - if not dead - then the words of Malcolm Muggeridge ring even more true: "Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society."

In 1960 the contraceptive pill burst on the scene, and a few short years later the West experienced what is known as the Sexual Revolution. This revolution - like all significant revolutions - changed everything, and we are still reeling from its impact.

This book is about that impact. In meaty chapters Eberstadt looks at the devastating effects of the Sexual Revolution in general and the Pill in particular. "First, and contrary to conventional depiction, the sexual revolution has proved a disaster for many men and women; and second, its weight has fallen heaviest on the smallest and weakest shoulders in society - even as it has given extra strength to those already strongest and most predatory."

Her first chapter deals with the "will to disbelieve". Despite the fact that we now have mounds of research showing the damaging effects of the Sexual Revolution, the elites, the lefties, and the secularists are all living in denial. They simply refuse to believe anything is amiss in their sexual and social utopia.

Their panglossian take on things means they must deny reality and live in delusion. She offers an eerie and worrying parallel to the anti-anti-communism during the Cold War. Even though we had masses of evidence of communist tyranny, bloodshed, and barbarism, plenty of Western intellectuals refused to believe it.

So too our intellectualoids are living in denial about the high costs of the sexual revolution, which are amply documented in this volume. Contrary to the claims of the sexual libertarians, the "empirical record today on sex documents the overall benefits of marriage and monogamy, beginning with the married couples themselves"

This data has been accumulating for decades now, and Eberstadt offers a nice summary of this mass of evidence. Women and children have especially borne the heaviest brunt of the sexual revolution. They have endured the most damage and taken the most blows.

Women for example were supposed to be a major beneficiary of this revolution, but that is looking to be far from the case. They have actually gotten a pretty lousy deal here, which Eberstadt documents with plenty of social science and anecdotal evidence.

She concentrates on what women themselves are saying, including the feminists. Their voices are almost one in bemoaning their current fate, all of which has been brought about by accepting the rhetoric and empty promises of the Sexual Revolution.

The pornography plague is of course one major blight of this revolution. Sadly we have now become quite familiar with all the stats on this - they make for depressing reading indeed, but we must not forget what is really happening here.

Porn has simply killed sex - it has devalued it, debased it, demeaned it, and dehumanised it. And it has resulted in far too many men living lives of never-ending adolescence. The porn tsunami has led to "the perpetual and often successful hunt for sexual novelty [which] ultimately works to the detriment of longer-term romance."

Thus we have the paradox "of declining male happiness in an age glutted by sexual imagery". And this also means many men are losing their protective instincts - they have nothing left to protect. The replacement of procreative sex with recreative sex has led to both a marriage dearth and a birth dearth.

She draws parallels with the obesity epidemic: each is a "social problem increasing over time, with especially worrisome results among its youngest consumers, and one whose harms are only beginning to be studied with the seriousness they clearly deserve."

While the consumption of porn may be private, there are huge social consequences of it. And the humongous proportion of adolescents getting addicted to the stuff is a major social problem. These young people are more likely themselves to have sex, to have it earlier, and to engage in it more frequently.

And related to all this is the growing problem of "pedophilia chic". Eberstadt documents just how mainstream pedophilia is becoming. Our sexperts, our eggheads, and our elites are all going soft on this, and that means huge trouble. The sexual abuse of the young of course leaves real and lasting scars.

She looks at other major hunks of the fallout from the Sexual Revolution, such as the sexual shenanigans which have inundated our campuses, and the major collapse of marriage and family. And all these negative outcomes are of course simply getting worse.

Her last chapter looks at contraception and the 1968 Papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. It looked carefully at the issue of birth control and the possible ramifications of it. Eberstadt argues that it was a prophetic document, and everything it warned about has occurred big time.

Its specific predictions about what the world would look like with widespread use of artificial contraception seem spot on: "The encyclical warned of four resulting trends: a general lowering of moral standards throughout society; a rise in infidelity; a lessening of respect for women by men; and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments."

Yep, that is pretty much what we now find. And she reminds us that all churches and all denominations opposed contraception for the history of the church, until the Anglican Lambeth Conference in 1930. There the door was opened, and soon after the floodgates opened, at least in Protestant denominations.

She cites Protestant evangelical stalwart Albert Mohler here: "I cannot imagine any development in human history, after the Fall, that has had a greater impact on human beings than the Pill. . . . The entire horizon of the sex act changes. I think there can be no question that the Pill gave incredible license to everything from adultery and affairs to premarital sex and within marriage to a separation of the sex act and procreation."

The Sexual Revolution has been enormously costly. We need a rethink on it before it does any more damage. And this book is a very good place to begin with this re-evaluation.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! This is a great read!, March 15, 2012
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This book was a great read- I finished it in 24 hours (and that's saying something for a mom of 3 little ones!) I am so glad that someone took the time to weave together all the empirical data that has come out in the past decade saying that that sex without consequences is a great thing for society. I was impressed by the variety of studies, essays, articles, and polls that she included in her research, as well as all the proper documentation so I can check out some of her sources. I will be recommending this book to pretty much everyone I know. Thank you for your hard work in putting together this book!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible Analysis of the Post-Sexual Revolution West, March 27, 2012
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This review is from: Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Hardcover)
I am by no means an academic and found this book to be a very accessible analysis of the state of the West after the sexual revolution. Eberstadt is persuasive in her arguments-- they are based on empirical evidence and are delivered with (sometimes painful) clarity. She unflinchingly examines very difficult topics, such as the effects of the sexual revolution on children and the predatory environment created on many college campuses. It covers contraception, abortion, and pornography as well, emphasizing the societal ills each has caused. "Adam and Eve After the Pill" includes many of the ideas presented in Eberstadt's articles from First Things and other publications, and it is nice to have those ideas collected into a complete book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, easy to read book, April 20, 2012
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After I saw this book reviewed on the LifeSite News, I purchased it. I managed to read it in an afternoon. Somehow I expected it to be harder to read, but it was very easy to read - as in not too academic. From the point of view of the content matter, many people might find it harder to take - as their sacred cows are led to the abattoir. The book is an analysis of the consequences of the pill and the accompanying sexual revolution. It's an analysis that is not favorable to the pill, or those who are advocates of sexual liberation.

All said, I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it wholeheartedly.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was the Pill good for society? Overwhelmingly no., April 17, 2012
This review is from: Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Hardcover)
A couple years ago I visited the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and was intrigued to see an exhibit on the Pill. The content was even more surprising. It was overwhelmingly positive and included several testimonials from women who had been "set free" from domestic bondage, "liberated" from the home to find true "equality" in the world.

By highlighting the dramatic changes introduced by the Pill, and its associated sexual revolution, the exhibit was right. These innovations provoked a huge social shift. At the time, most considered it a good shift. But fifty years later, many are wondering whether these changes were ultimately helpful. Is our "post-liberation" world better off because of the seismic sexual revolution? Are women in a better place now that contraception is widely used and available?

Mary Eberstadt thinks the answer is a firm "No", and she explains why in her new book, Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Ignatius Press, hardcover, 175 pages). The groundbreaking text draws on sociology, philosophy, culture, and more to show how the Pill has been one of the most disastrous inventions our world has ever known. According to Eberstadt, "no single event since Eve first took the apple has been as consequential for relations between the sexes as the arrival of modern contraception."

Her argument is evidenced through chapters exploring the sexual revolution's effect on different groups--men, women, children, and young adults. She also takes a look at its impact on cultural values, and the vindication of Pope Paul VI's prophetic encyclical, Humanae Vitae.

The book makes clear why so many people are second-guessing the Pill today. The increase in divorce, pornography, and unhappiness, and the prevalence of abortion, date rapes, hookups, and binge drinking all flow directly from the sexual revolution.

Adam and Eve after the Pill shows how in the end, the Pill and its revolution did not help women--or men for that matter. Its legacy is overwhelmingly negative and has left pain, sadness, and death in its wake.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right on target., May 6, 2012
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This review is from: Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Hardcover)
Mary Eberstadt gives a readable account about the consequences of the sexual revolution. She uses multiple examples and facts to show the social changes in our culture. A superb writer, she is never dull. I could not put down the book until I finished it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taken in by the Pill?, April 27, 2012
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This review is from: Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Hardcover)
Mary Eberstadt's well-reseached and well-written book hits the bullseye! Having grown up in the 50's and 60's, I've seen the change in our culture from then 'til now--and it ain't pretty.

The predictions made by Pope Paul VI of what would occur if the culture adopted contraception were as accurate as any Old Testament prophecies. Respect shown for the dignity of women has declined. Moral values for both men and women have sunk to new lows. Abortion has become main-streamed (after all, if the pill didn't work, isn't that the next "logical" step?). Marriages ruined. Single parent households have become commonplace--with corresponding increases in poverty and crime--mainly from fatherless homes. STD's are almost endemic. The very institution of marriage is under attack. And now respect for life at both the beginning (in the womb) and at the end (the elderly) is at an all-time low. Life is increasingly valued more by economic rather than ethical standards. Is it any wonder that new health care proposals include "end of life counselling" (read "euthanasia"). The now-aging baby-boomer generation taken in by the pill may be the first generation taken out by death panels.

But the author draws some parallels that offer hope. Perhaps--as with tobacco--some day in the future, the culture will break out of its denial when the pain of our decisions become too much to bear.

Spot on, Ms. Eberstadt! What a great read!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous book, May 24, 2012
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In today's world it is not politically correct to write such a book! But the truth must out. Humanae Vitae predicted future problems but was ridiculed. Now the chickens have come home to roost!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read., August 7, 2012
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Excellent analysis of the effect of the Pill and other methods of optional contraception. Dr. Eberstadt carefully analyzes the evidence of the widespread impact of the separation of reproduction and intercourse upon marriage, family, and the culture.
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Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution
Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution by Mary Eberstadt (Hardcover - March 1, 2012)
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