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Beyond Choice: Reproductive Freedom In The 21st Century Paperback – July 5, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (July 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586483463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586483463
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,147,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sanger, grandson of reproductive rights activist Margaret Sanger, is dismayed by the abortion debate's current stalemate, and in this pro-choice manifesto he asserts that pro-choice supporters face a difficult task if they want to persuade pro-life advocates to listen. He recalls being on a talk show where audience members were polled about their views before he spoke and then again after he finished. Although Sanger thought he made provocative and persuasive arguments, not one audience member was swayed. This indicates a larger problem, and Sanger posits that such ineffectiveness will harm the pro-choice camp in the future, as state legislatures enact pro-life legislation and more young people join the pro-life movement. After explaining why current methods aren't working, Sanger opines on righting the pro-choice movement's maladies. He suggests discussions that could change how those outside the pro-life camp view the issue. Including men in the conversation about reproductive rights would be a major step toward positive change, Sanger notes, and one that isn't currently being taken. And,
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Thoughtful and eloquent...Sanger defines the arguments around abortion in a way which is clear, thorough, and mindbending..." -- Susan Cheever

"Well researched and readable, Beyond Choice should be required reading for both pro-choice and pro-life supporters." -- Governor Christine Todd Whitman

More About the Author

Alexander C. Sanger is the author of Beyond Choice: Reproductive Freedom in the 21st Century published in January 2004 by PublicAffairs. Mr. Sanger, the grandson of Margaret Sanger, who founded the birth control movement over eighty years ago, is currently Chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council and has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund. He also operates a website and weblog www.AlexanderSanger.com with commentary on reproductive rights issues. Mr. Sanger previously served as the President of Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) and its international arm, The Margaret Sanger Center International (MSCI) for ten years from 1991 - 2000.


As a spokesperson and advocate, Mr. Sanger was named 'One of the 100 Most Influential People on the Planet' in 1995 by Earth Times. He attended and lectured at both the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo and The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women at Beijing in 1995.

Mr. Sanger's background includes six years as a partner in the law firm of White and Case and three years running a manufacturing business. He holds a doctor of jurisprudence and master of business administration degrees from Columbia University, a master of laws from New York University, and a BA in history from Princeton University. During the 1990's he was the only male member of the New York City Commission on the Status of Women and is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Princeton University Program in the Study of Women and Gender. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.

Customer Reviews

If somebody else had written this same book it would quickly become one title of many.
Robin Orlowski
How fortunate we are that an intelligent, articulate author like Alexander Sanger is a committed champion of women's rights.
Susan V. Brind
In short, every thinking woman and man will benefit from reading this deeply considered book.
Anne W. Connor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Leila E. B. Luce on February 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Alexander Sanger's Beyond Choice is an extraordinary book. While I consider myself to be mostly pro-choice, I had never really asked myself the question why we should we have reproductive freedom in the first place. This is the question that Alex Sanger tackles in this provocative book. Sanger makes the case of why all reproductive freedom, including abortion, is moral because it helps humanity survive. The book discusses the difficulties and dangers, especially to women, of human reproduction and makes it clear that we evolved to have reproductive freedom because it helps women and children survive. Sanger is not afraid to say that there can be limits on choice, especially in the area of new reproductive technologies. Of more importance, the book sets out rationales and strategies for including men in the battle for reproductive rights, and defines what the role of government should and should not be in our private lives. I am convinced, as will all readers and writers be, that no one who wants to express any opinion on the issue of choice, or life, can do so without reading this page-turning and vitally important book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. De Haven on July 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Alexander Sanger clearly relies on his grandmother's reputation in order to sell his book. Rife with grammatical errors and uncited sources, Sanger constantly calls his own credibility as a competent researcher into question. His ideas ARE interesting, but without telling us where he gets his statistics from, he leaves those good ideas unsupported.

I am heartily glad I only paid $1 for this book.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on August 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The grandson of Margaret Sanger is also involved in reproductive issues, but he openly is unable to completely appreciate today's sociopolitical realities with the policy area. Instead, he uses his famous name to sell a book that does not contribute to the pro-choice cannon. The lack of quality research might even inadvertently toughen present organizing conditions for people such as myself who currently work the policy trenches without benefit of celebrity.

While he muses about the Sadie Sachs story which propelled his grandmother to open the first birth control clinic in America, he asks us to find common ground with the people who want nothing more than to see that myself and other women are returned to similar conditions.

Ultimate unworkability of that aforementioned public policy oddly does not deter Sanger from his daydream. He continues to believe that the rest of the world is universally awed by the tale and the rightwing is only interested in recriminalizing abortion. Current evidence from Planned Parenthood Federation of America itself indicates the American rightwing opposes all sexuality outside of procreation but cannot publicly act on their real sentiments for fear of massive public outrage.

To be fair, Sanger proactively identifies the numerous flaws within his grandmother's political organizing-which was genuinely considered progressive during her life. In an obviously personally difficult chapter, he concedes that she worked with Eugenicists and let the south warp birth control into a system to shrink African Americans. Because it would have been easier to tout the homogenized family history and ignore `alternate' perspectives such as Dorothy Roberts, he performs a great reader service.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan V. Brind on January 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The defense of women's rights might be called the key American battle. It goes without saying that these are reproductive rights. The right to control the size of one's family, or, indeed, not to have a family at all, was established with great courage and effort only recently, by the grandmother of the author of this book. In America today whatever position one holds on this essential matter of private life and social policy, what is absolutely critical is ongoing public debate and behind it, education. Every American should know and think carefully about this subject, hence every American should read this book. How fortunate we are that an intelligent, articulate author like Alexander Sanger is a committed champion of women's rights.
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