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Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography Paperback – November 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Press; 1 edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815410158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815410157
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,820,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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27 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Margaret Sanger is not only one of the most influential women in 20th century America, she's the rare sort of individual whose autobiographies are better than the biographies that others have written about her. The Sanger described by others is typically little more than an icon, a stilted "Woman of Valor." The real Sanger you'll discover here is far more interesting and in many ways far more apt to reveal flaws and shortcomings.
This is a reprint of her 1938 autobiography, written by a mature Sanger as she was retiring from public life to become the birth control movement's senior representative. Her 1931 My Fight for Birth Control has more fire to it, but at that time she was much more ill-tempered. She'd been pushed out of the American Birth Control League that she had founded and was having little success in her attempts to get federal birth control legislation passed. If you read one of her autobiographies, this should be the one.
Just remember that you will not get a full picture of Sanger from this book. Here you get the events of her life told from the inside. To understand what motivated her you need to read the book she termed her 'head' book, her 1922 The Pivot of Civilization (recently republished with additional material). It's her most intellectual book and contains an introduction by her friend H. G. Wells.
It is demeaning of Sanger's legacy that so few of those who claim to take her seriously as an activist take the time to examine her ideas. It was Sanger the thinker who inspired Sanger the activist. We must understand both to understand the movement she founded.
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32 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com VINE VOICE on October 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
In reviewing Sanger's autobiography, there is a difficult balance to manage.

On one hand, Sanger had a genuine desire to reduce unwanted births and, indirectly, reduce the population of the poor and mistreated.

On the other hand is the ungirdings of her beliefs: that African-Americans were second-class citizens. Backing what she believed was a growing acceptance of eugenics, that to have a better world, the population needed to be genetically purer. For Sanger, not too different that Hitler, this meant encouraging abortions among African-Americans.

To read Sanger's auto-biography alone might mislead the reader into believing her views were founded in cleanly laid-out welfare theories and of women's rights. That was part of it... but deeper still... and the reason I'm not comfortable fully recommending this book... is her core racial prejudice under the guise of freedom.

I understand my review might offend fans of Sanger, but read it in context.

Pick up George Grant's book on it... get past his over-emphasis on his own conservative views, and read his analysis of her own comments. Better yet... if you can find one, read Doug Scott's "Bad Choices" expose of the founding and practices of Planned Parenthood. Again, exceedingly conservative and not for the close-minded, but his citations of Sanger's letters and official documents are astounding and alarming.

Anthony Trendl
[...]
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25 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Michael A Muench on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Don't expect an accurate depiction of Sanger from this propaganda piece. Save yourself a lot of time and read the following quotes if you're really interested in finding out what kind of woman Margaret Sanger really was and what type of agenda she promoted for America:
On the extermination of blacks:
"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," she said, "if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon
On abortion:
"The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)
On the right of married couples to bear children:
"Couples should be required to submit applications to have a child." -- Margaret Sanger "Plan for Peace." (Birth Control Review, April 1932)
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Burns on October 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I most took away from this autobiography was confusion. How did the "movement" incorporate and become synonomous with abortion? Mrs. Sanger, at least in this piece that she wrote, was outspokenly anti-abortion. Yet, her brainchild- Planned Parenthood- is the largest national provider of abortions today. I took from this book that Mrs. Sanger was a bit naive and surrounded herself with some sinister circles. Circles that saw the profit that could be made through abortion. Sufficing their desires for population control and greed. Mrs. Sanger helped in the opening of a Pandora's box of eugenics and moral relativeness. Did she really mean what she wrote- "Do not kill, do not take life, but prevent"?
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18 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Margaret Sanger was no better than Hitler with her population control. She chose to focus on control because she was one of many children from her family and obviously did not get enough attention. Now she focuses on being selfish. Most of us have children because we love them. For those who have abortions, they need to stay out of other peoples beds if they can't handle the responsibility or the unselfishness of having a child or children.
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Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography
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