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The Case of Roe versus Wade Hardcover – September 9, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (September 9, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399228128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399228124
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,771,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harold Y. Grooms on January 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This short, highly readable book outlines the steps that led to the passage of Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in America. Few cases have had the impact on society this one has had. Proponents hail its passage as a "victory for women's rights." Opponents say it has ushered in a Holocaust that dwarfs anything done Nazi death camps. Almost everyone has a strong opinion. No one is neutral.

Stevens begins by ridiculing the crusade led by Anthony Comstock of Connecticut and the Roman Catholic Church to rid America of vice in the late 18 and 1900's, which included information on birth control. He then praises early women's rights advocate Margaret Sanger's efforts in fighting them. He then reviews Texas Attorney Sarah Weddington's efforts in preparing her case for legalizing abortion to the Supreme Court. Particularly interesting is her search for a typical victim to use in her class action suit that led her to Norma McCorvey aka, Jane Roe. He then spends a great deal of time enumerating the, sometimes violent, efforts of pro-life supporters to end abortion and hails the punitive damages awarded "victims" of their protests. He ends by proposing a truce between reasonable people on both sides of the issue to work together to make abortion rare while protecting the legal sanctity of "a woman's right to choose."

Only 175 short pages in length, this book should be read by people on both sides of the issue. Stevens is a gifted writer who presents the issues well. Readers will be much better informed after spending two hours or so reading this work.

Few people are neutral on abortion. The author is not; neither is this reviewer. The fact remains; every time an abortion is performed a child dies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book disspelled many of the common misconceptions surrounding this case. I really enjoyed reading the book and liked the way the entire background, as it pertained to this landmark case, was thoroughly explained.
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