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More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
What the author gives us, and what is so desperately need at this critical juncture in the debate over population, is historical perspective. His book, in fact, takes up back to our ancestral roots to give us a better understanding of such things as human reproduction, the centuries' old debate over population, and efforts by governments to "control" population by encouraging human procreation or restricting it.
Many people today believe that birth control is a thoroughly modern invention, but as Engelman observes in his book, women throughout history have sought to control their fertility, as well as enhance it. In response to shrinking resources or deteriorating conditions, women have often sought--though not always successfully--to space or limit their pregnancies.
Engelman takes what he calls a "Zen' approach to population. He argues that the best way to "control" population is to give up control, by giving women the power to decide for themselves when to bear a child.
He notes that many women in the world still lack access to modern contraceptive methods and that, if given that access, fertility rates will likely decline further. Giving girls the education they need and the equality they deserve, he argues, would also result in lower fertility rates.
At the same time, he voices the conviction that concerns about an eventual population implosion are overblown.Read more ›
Engelman outlines the history of women managing their fertility through the ages, from our humble beginnings as homo erectus through modern day. Throughout human history some women have prevented conception with herbs and pessaries. And some women have always backed up these methods with abortion and infanticide.
His point is that women's desire to have small families is not new and that modern contraception should be available to any woman who wants it, in order to avoid the crude methods that our ancestors were stuck with.
Engelman writes about women with great respect and humorously describes why men and women so often differ on their ideas about ideal childbearing (both timing and total number). In fact, humor is an integral part of this book. Engelman was a journalist in a past life and his catchy, accessible writing style shines through on every page.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about demography, women's reproductive rights, and/or anthropology. This book should interest just about anyone and is not the dry, academic sort of textbook that you might expect of this topic. I'm even going to propose it as a selection for my monthly book club!
The author does an excellent job detailing the history of sex as well. The author puts forward a lot of ideas that at the very least will make the reader think. His discussion on the history of birth control was fascinating. I did not realize that so much had come before modern methods. What this history shows in the end is the importance of giving women (and men) options.
Whether you agree with the author or not, his book is a very interesting and entertaining read. While a lot of it is heavy lifting, the author adds some comical asides every now and then to lighten the load. I think this is a very important read. The history is fascinating and the author's own experience adds a tremendous amount of perspective to this very important topic. You need to read this book.
Taking a Malthusian view of population increase, Engelman notes that the "natural" curbs on population growth outpacing sustainability are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Famine, War, and Pestilence (Death, as Engelman notes, is just the body-collector for the other 3). However, Engelman sees a better way: given access to a complete portfolio of family planning services, women (on average) tend to choose a sustainable population level. Not men. No doubt this is because typical women's reproductive agendas (fewer children, higher level of investment) is more adapted to a crowded planet than the typical man's. However it is a more empowering philosophy than trying to force population control through government.
Included in this book is a history of demographics, a history of family planning, and Engelman's interesting reading of some Biblical stories through the eyes of his own concerns. And the interesting fact that George H.W. Bush used to be such a proponent of family planning that he got the nickname "Rubbers" before he sold out to the Reaganites.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book studies our population growth and ways that women manage children. I didn't initially realise that the demography study incorporates a good look at our prehistory. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Clare O'Beara
Full disclosure: Robert Engelman is my brother.
More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want, is an explanation of the history and prehistory of human population... Read more
This book is written well, with extensive research, numerous statistics and a sense of humor. The author is vice president for programs at the Worldwatch Institute and was formerly... Read morePublished on February 26, 2010 by Frank D. Lock
"More" is on the ROROTOKO list of cutting-edge intellectual nonfiction. Robert Engelman's book interview ran here as cover feature on March 27, 2009.Published on August 5, 2009 by ROROTOKO
Bravo for such an honest and intuitive book!
"More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want" By Robert Engelman addresses the topic of population growth and Engelman... Read more
Population growth is a controversial topic, a contested landscape where consensus is rarely achieved. Read morePublished on December 29, 2008 by Wayra Reviews
Only in the last few years has the environmentalist community's urgent warning of the perils of human-induced global warming begun to be reported seriously by the mainstream... Read morePublished on December 28, 2008 by John T. Wertime
This author must be crazy to think that the same old arguments for birth control and "overpopulation" will convince educated readers. Read morePublished on December 10, 2008 by RuskinTL
Engelman demonstrates that providing women a basic level of health care, including effective birth control, will solve the problem of overpopulation! Read morePublished on August 29, 2008 by Anne Fitzhugh