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Is Breast Best?: Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood (Biopolitics) Hardcover – December 19, 2010
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"Wolf offers a powerful and important cultural critique...this is an insightful and eye-opening book that will be of interest to sociologists of gender, medical sociologists, and science studies scholars."-Abigail C. Saguy,American Journal of Sociology
"Wolf confronts the stereotypes of ideal motherhood and explains how public health campaigns and advocacy groups have relied on flawed infant-feeding research to exaggerate any health risks associated with using infant formula."-Texas A&M University News,tamunews.tamu.edu
"Wolf notes the 'insular and unidimensional zealotry' of breastfeeding campaginers and skillfully uncovers elements of racism and elitism in their behavior toward working women who do not have the luxury to breastfeed."-A. H. Koblitz,Choice
"Instead of disputing the science about the chemical makeup of breast milk . . . she (Wolf) posits that the benefits most people associate with breast-feeding studies cannot be separated from the fact that mothers who breast-feed may be more attuned to health and may take more precautions about hygene . . . Wolf rightfully contends that in the government's and acvocate's zeal to increase the numbers of breast-fed babies, they have vastly discounted the harsh realities of breast-feeding in a modern world"-Tara A. Trower,Statesman.com
“Beautifully written, powerfully argued. . . . Challenges the science prescription that all infants must be breastfed.”-Linda Blum,author of At the Breast
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Top Customer Reviews
Even if some of the health claims are real - and the most convincing one is that breastfeeding reduces episodes of diarrhea - does that really justify pressuring a woman who hates breastfeeding or has tremendous difficulty with it to continue miserably for the "sake of her baby?Read more ›
This book really put things in perspective - not only about breastfeeding but about the way that we emphasize eliminating all possible "risks" to our children, not realizing that we are expending huge amounts of effort on things that are either very unlikely or that have a very low possibility of harm. The whole idea that the mother is uniquely responsible for eliminating all risks to her child's development is problematic. The worshipping of the "natural", as a reaction to science constantly changing and updating its conclusions, is also taken to ridiculous levels.
This book is well researched and thoughtful - a bit on the academic side, but I appreciate that because too often the cultural messages about breastfeeding are based on "studies" that don't actually come to the conclusions that are touted in popular media. It's great to be able to cut through the nonsense and learn what conclusions can actually be scientifically drawn.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are clearly some good intentions in this e/book for those mothers who are unable to breastfeed. Read morePublished 14 months ago by David J White
Although this is not a light read, Wolf's consideration and research is absolutely thorough (with an appreciated dose of dry wit thrown in). Read morePublished on May 31, 2013 by Lara Haynes
All mammals breastfeed, humans are no differnt. There can never be an ethically randomized trial to breastfeed or not. Read morePublished on March 6, 2013 by ma2one
This is an excellent book. From a scientific standpoint, the research is very well done, the analysis spot on, and the conclusions clear. Read morePublished on August 24, 2012 by JDoe
I think this is a great read for any mother wishing to explore something beyond the current "Breast is best" thinking. Read morePublished on February 20, 2012 by Aleah
The author exaggerates how hard it is to breastfeed a baby. She makes it seem like a mother cannot have a job and breastfeed as well. Read morePublished on October 19, 2011 by A. Ramirez
For years i've been saying all these breastfeeding studies are full of crap... I'm so glad someone finally wrote about it!! Read morePublished on September 4, 2011 by AJK
Intelligently written and thoroughly researched. This book really shows that there is no scientific evidence that breast feeding is superior to formula feeding and that each... Read morePublished on June 13, 2011 by Felicia
According to Joan Wolf in the preface, her book is about what she calls a "'risk culture,' broadly speaking. Read morePublished on March 11, 2011 by S. Teichner