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Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room Paperback – January 10, 2012


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Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room + Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas + Sin No More: From Abortion to Stem Cells, Understanding Crime, Law, and Morality in America
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558617515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558617513
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,210,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Merle Hoffman:
Merle Hoffman is an award-winning journalist, activist, and women’s health care pioneer. In 1971, she founded CHOICES, one of the first ambulatory abortion centers, which has become one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities in the US. She is also the publisher of On the Issues, an online feminist magazine.

Website: merlehoffman.com

More About the Author

Merle Hoffman is an award-winning writer and the Founder, President and CEO of Choices Women's Medical Center, one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive women's medical facilities. Her memoir, "Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Boardroom," brings alive the experiences of a woman who has lived, in the words of author Blanche Wiesen Cook, "on the front lines of the abortion wars...[and] has never turned away from the harshest battles or denied the most painful truths." Hoffman is also the publisher and Editor-in-Chief of On The Issues Magazine, an online quarterly publication featuring provocative articles by leading feminist and progressive thinkers and activists. You can find more information about her memoir and groundbreaking work at http://www.intimatewars.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
It was also upsetting for me to read how so many people tried to bring her down.
Raven DeLajour
For anyone interested in an excellent description of the struggle to secure this right I highly recommend this beautifully written searingly honest memoir.
Stanley L Rustin Ph.D.
Merle Hoffman's book about her odyssey through life, love, death, betrayal and self-realization is an account arrestingly told.
F Ferrer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By annrose@annrose.com on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
As an abortion provider since 1976, I was truly blown away by Merle's book. She captured a time and era in history that has been forgotten. Young women of today generally have known legal abortion for all their lives. This personal and professional history encompasses the early struggles of providing abortion in America, as well as the continuing harassment that providers contend with on a daily basis. I went through many of the same experiences in providing abortion in the South, and Merle's recollection of events is riveting. I was also there for the march on St. Patrick's in NYC that is documented in the book. This book represents a giant leap in not only the documentation of abortion history, but also personal revelations of those of us who have provided the service. I recommend this highly for any progressive American who wants to better understand a great national movement. Ann Rose (Abortion Clinics OnLine)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By BookGrrrrrrrl on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Merle Hoffman is a force of nature! An iconoclast and a warrior, Hoffman was a firebrand in search of a cause. Not only did she find it, women everywhere benefit from her passion and commitment. I highly recommend this book for its brave first-person account of the front lines of the abortion wars, as well as Hoffman's own hard-driving vision. Also -- women entrepreneurs -- behold a woman who unapologetically embraces her power.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Rovine on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I got my hands on an early copy of this book, and - wow! Like Patti Smith's "Just Kids," Hoffman's "Intimate Wars" tells the story of a woman at the epicenter of a cultural maelstrom, who harnesses the power of the time to transform herself and the world around her. And, girl, does she tell this story well.

Hoffman gives the reader a front-row seat at feminism's coming-out party in the late twentieth century. But one doesn't need to be a "feminist" to appreciate the story, laced with obstacles, disappointments, and triumph, all of which sing from the page. Hoffman provides a riveting political and historical lesson, while simultaneously revealing her personal transformation from a head-strong dreamer to a mother-figure with earned wisdom.

In many ways, Hoffman's story is a primer for a life well lived, and shows all of us the art of the possible. A must read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Baird on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This brave, raw and fascinating memoir is, at its core, about the journey towards self-actualization and the freedom necessary to master one's life. Fortunately for countless women, the book's heroine, Merle Hoffman, used her brilliance and immense talents to provide them with safe, affordable reproductive healthcare. The author uncomplainingly describes for her readers the terror and abuses she has endured at the hands of anti-abortion fanatics in order to provide abortion services. All who believe that abortion and birth control create an equal playing field for women that enables them to control their health and very lives will feel indebted to Ms. Hoffman after reading this book. For decades she has held the torch of freedom, often a heavy burden to bear, in order to light the way for others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Campbell on August 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
It's a woman's choice when the male sexual partner did not consent to have sex for the purpose of having a baby and starting a family with the female sexual partner.

Fathers should raise their sons with the sexual admonishment: if you get a girl pregnant, you either go with her to the maternity ward or you go with her to the abortion clinic.

The moral question is Adam and Eve's, it is not only Eve's. The chromosomes being aborted are not just Eve's.

It is Merle Hoffman's hope that the intimacy between a man and woman is at a level of intimacy that the female and male sexual partners discuss and even debate abortion. Merle Hoffman puts forth, after all the discussing and arguing, the male sexual partner does not have veto power. Unfortunately, there is the probability of backlash; hence, to the detriment of honesty, some men will never know if a female sexual partner has had an abortion.

The book is important.

She does address the "if only's."

She says in addition to sex education there should be intimacy education and love education.

The book gets 4 stars from me instead of 5 because I am not pro-abortion, but the history and the discussion makes this a 4-star book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raven DeLajour on May 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Even though the book infuriated me from time to time (not Merle's fault, but the violence and hate from the anti-women crusaders), I loved it so much. I loved reading about the activism, the politics, and the movement to legalize abortion and to keep it that way from a pioneering women herself. Merle writes with purpose and intelligence, and isn't afraid to share her worst moments alongside her best ones.

Reading this book is just another reminder that feminism's work isn't done.Women's rights are constantly under attack, especially this year. There are many people out there who'd rather see women die from an unsafe abortion than see women go through with a safe legal abortion. That is horrifying and frightening. Like Merle says in her book, these "pro-lifers" give the fetus more rights than a woman, who is overlooked and put to shame.

There were times in the book where reality was just too surreal-the deaths of physicians who performed abortions, the closing of clinics by fanatical pro-lifers. Yet this is real life. This book was personal to me as a feminist. I loved that Merle distinguished the ignorance of race in the discussion of other feminists and included it in her practice and work. Merle knows that discrimination against these minorities exist, especially when it comes to government and healthcare. It was really awesome how she covered gay and lesbian issues in her magazine On The Issues, where she even covered animal rights.

It was also upsetting for me to read how so many people tried to bring her down. It's not surprising she met so much adversity and opposition, of course. In the end, though, it just made her a stronger fighter.

I highly recommend this book for fellow feminists and anyone interested in women's rights and human rights. Because women's rights ARE human rights.
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