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Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion, and the Federal Government in Modern America Hardcover – February 25, 1999

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Editorial Reviews Review

In Intended Consequences, Donald Critchlow outlines how postwar federal family-planning policy came to be a political hot potato costing over $700 million a year. The 65 pages of footnotes to the book reveal the welter of data--much of it previously unexamined or recently released--he draws on to create this meticulously detailed monograph. The study operates at many levels and focuses primarily, though not exclusively, on the United States. Critchlow examines how "birth control" became "family planning" and discusses the fight over whether to include abortion under that rubric. He traces the ways in which federal family-planning policy has been influenced both by individuals like John D. Rockefeller III and by mass mobilization of public interests such as the pro- and anti-abortion lobbies. And he sets all this in the context of changing social, political, and cultural norms and mores on sex, family, women's rights, and the role of government. Recommended reading for interested scholars and policymakers. --Julia Riches


"One can only admire the sheer volume of erudition and the sophisticated view of the policy process contained in this book; it exemplifies the new field of policy history at its very best."--Edward Berkowitz, American Historical Reveiw

"A clear, well-written and extensively footnoted contribution to the history of family-planning policy that promises to become the standard work on the subject."-National Catholics Bioethics Quarterly


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 25, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195046579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195046571
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nancy K. Oconnor on December 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When one wants a history of how the modern world is shaped, too often it is found in boring academic books or in lurid conspiracy theory language.
This book gives a thoughtful discussion of the whos, whys, and hows of the social policies that aided the idea of population control, with its intended consequences of increasing wealth and security, and its unintended consequences of undermining family life.
For information, I rate it a five. It is a clear and well written discussion of this often controversial topic. Unlike the more politicized books of this nature, it is not an exciting read. However it is clearly written so the average reader would find it helpful.
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