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The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger Paperback – May 11, 2004

3.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Ed edition (May 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486434923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486434926
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Margaret Sanger's autobiography is a long, detailed account of the woman's life told from her own perspective. In her lifetime, Sanger encountered countless women, burdened by poverty and many mouths to feed, begging to hear the "secret" method to prevent pregnancy. Sanger's campaign took her across the nation and the continents, often times running a step ahead of church and legal authorities.

I learned a great deal about the fight for birth control than I had ever thought possible. I learned that Sanger abhorred abortion while embracing contraception as a means to prevent conception. Ironically, I think this would exclude her from both of today's pro-life and pro-choice sides. An interesting autobiography of a remarkable woman and an important document on the public health struggles at the turn of the twentieth century.
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I thought it was a good idea to find out what the founder of Planned Parenthood stood for. There is a lot of misinformation out there about her. I think she had good intentions but some of her philosophy is flawed. It was interesting to see where her ideas came from. I didn't realize she lived in Germany after WWI and she saw how bad things were getting and she saw how it effected larger families. I think her ideas turned into something she didn't foresee. It gives the reader another view even if against abortion.
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...the reality is that she fought hard to make access to BASIC contraceptive information available to ALL families--wealthy, middle-class, poor, immigrant, WASP, African-American, etc.

Her battle against Anthony Comstock's puritanical Comstock Law--which made it illegal to give a pamphlet to a woman explaining basic menstruation--is legendary. Her article "Comstockery in America," written in 1915 and discussed in this book, highlighted the campaign by government officials to keep basic information out of the hands of the average person.

Special interest groups have created a campaign over the past 20 years to smear Sanger as a eugenicist, writing books that are published by biased publishing companies as part of a clear agenda. This autobiography stands on its own as one woman's story about her work to spread basic information to families who asked for it.
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By Michelle C. on September 10, 2015
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Margaret Sanger is completely misunderstood by the Christian community in my opinion. She is an interesting writer and she gave her life and sometimes her freedom to help the poorer, overcrowded populations not only in the United States but around the world. As you will read in this book she was against abortion which was a complete shock to me considering she has been noted as the founder of planned parenthood.
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This book has opened my eyes and broaden my thinking. You get a good view of the start of World War I. It helped me realise that new ideas that seem a no brainer now, take years and years to come into being. That issues never have perfect endings. Sanger met so many interesting people in her life. To now be able so find information about different names in the book has been interesting.
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This book by Margaret Sanger is awesome....here's why....because in her own words you will read what a morally bankrupt woman she was.

On page 366 she says she welcomed the opportunity to speak at the woman's branch of the KKK in New Jersey. Yes...you read that right....the KKK. If you need a refresher on who the KKK is....they hung Black Americans like animals from trees, burned their churches and houses....and Sanger welcomed the invitation so she could espouse her doctrine of eugenics.

In a letter she wrote in 1939 to a Dr. C.J. Gamble she told the doctor...."We can't let the negroes know we want to exterminate them.....".

And this woman is considered a "hero".
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The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger is an excellent book about a wonderful woman that little is known or published about. Her work for women's reproductive rights is amazing!
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In reviewing Sanger's autobiography, there is a difficult balance to manage. Any reader will have a view of Sanger, Planned Parenthood, and abortion that will inform how they read it. Reading it without bias for or against is near impossible.

On one hand, Sanger had a genuine desire to reduce unwanted births and, indirectly, reduce the population of the poor and mistreated. That's an admirable goal, and we read that here.

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 than Hitler, this meant encouraging abortions among African-Americans. A harsh truth that isn't popular today, thankfully.

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 the context of the era.

Pick up Killer Angel: A Short Biography of Planned Parenthood's Founder, Margaret Sanger, George Grant's book on it. Get past his over-emphasis and extreme bias of his own conservative views, and read his analysis of her own comments. Better yet, if you can find one, read Doug Scott's "
...Read more ›
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