From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up. A high-quality account of the events and issues surrounding the Supreme Court's decision. Stevens's sociological and legal history of reproductive issues in this country includes the early efforts of Margaret Sanger to bring legal information about contraception to women, efforts to overturn early legislation in regard to the private behaviors of married couples, and, ultimately, the Roe v. Wade case, as well as its future implications. The detailed chronology leading up to its presentation to the Supreme Court makes a compelling, readable narrative. Stevens not only writes in an evenhanded manner, avoiding the predictable pitfalls of emotionalism, but also highlights the personal stories of those individuals who figured prominently in the events. That this case was not so much an ending as a beginning is made clear by the author's account of legislation generated since the Supreme Court's landmark decision in the early 1970s. The ongoing divisiveness among Americans regarding the issue of abortion is made clear by the author's descriptions of the blockades and bombings of abortion clinics and even of the murders of clinic staffers. Inasmuch as the topic still figures prominently in the American political scene, this is a timely addition. An excellent resource for students researching critical social issues, the book stands equally well in defining a long chapter in America's social history.?Sylvia V. Meisner, Allen Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 8^-12. Stevens, who is no stranger to constitutional issues, tries his best to steer clear of the moral imperatives and the inflamed rhetoric that is so much a part of the abortion issue. He's not as conscientious about documentation: a bibliography gives the only clue to the dozens of quotes that enliven the text. Even so, this is an exceptional book, replete with the names and stories of the many people associated with the landmark court decision. The legal maneuvering and the incredible amount of detail involved could have been boring, but in Stevens' capable hands, the names--from Margaret Sanger and Norma McCorvey to P. T. Barnum and David Souter--and the contributions nearly leap off the page. And Stevens doesn't stop with the past. He also investigates the ongoing ramifications of the decision, both in the community and in the political arena. His hope that the flowering of such organizations as Common Ground will usher in a new era in the debate seems a fitting conclusion to this fascinating perspective on history in the making. A glossary and a bibliography are appended. Stephanie Zvirin