From Library Journal
Davis-Floyd has written a brilliant feminist analysis of childbirth rites of passage in American culture. These rites, she argues, take away women's power over their bodies, naturally designed to bring life into the world, and for no physiological reason give it to the medical system. She believes that society, intimidated by women's ability to give birth, has designed obstetrical rituals that are far more complex than natural childbirth itself in order to deliver what is from nature into culture. "In this way," she writes, "society symbolically demonstrates ownership of its product." This beautiful book, full of insightful interviews with women on a range of birth experiences and with an extensive bibliography, is a wonderful addition to the growing literature on the anthropology of the body and the theoretical debates over mind/body and nature/culture dichotomies. Essential for all anthropology and women's studies collections and medical school libraries and highly recommended for public libraries.- Patricia Sarles, Mt. Sinai Medical Ctr. Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"[Davis-Floyd] is a respectful listener who has encouraged her subjects to speak honestly about a complex experience. Consequently, even skeptical readers of the fascinating stories she has gathered should be prompted to reflect on the meaning of their own or their partners' experience of birth. . . . I admire, without reservation, the generous, critical, passionate spirit that animates this book."--Sara Ruddick, New York Times Book Review