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Kirkus Review, April 15, 2011
"A hard-hitting, eye-opening study that not only paints a dire future of a world without girls but traces the West’s role in propagating sex selection . Hvistendahl’s important, even-handed exposé considers all sides of the argument and deserves careful attention and study."
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
Unnatural Selection is an important book and a fascinating read. Mara Hvistendahl is a delightful writer: witty, engaging, and acute. But the tale she tells is deeply disturbing. Asia alone is missing 160 million women and girls, a number equal to the entire female population of the United States. According to Hvistendahl, the culprit is less deeply rooted cultural gender bias than rising wealth, elite attitudes, and Western influence and technology. Development, at least for the coming decades, will produce not only fewer children overall, but also many fewer girls. The result is a future for many parts of the world, from India to China, Azerbaijan to Albania, where brides are much more likely to be bought, women are much more likely to be trafficked, and men are much more likely to be frustrated. For the present, women who are pro-choice must confront the stark reality that the availability of ultrasound and ready abortion are sharply reducing the number of women in the world.”
Stephen J. Dubner, author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
"Yes, it’s a rigorous exploration of the world’s missing women,’ but it’s more than that too: an extraordinarily vivid look at the implications of the problem. Hvistendahl writes beautifully, with an eye for detail but also the big picture. She has a fierce intelligence but, more important, a fierce intellectual independence; she writes with a hard edge but no venom rather, a cool and hard passion."
Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide
"A fascinating and thoroughly researched book on a most important subject. The staggering population imbalances described by Hvistendahl should be of concern to all."
Judy Norsigian, Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves
A critically important story of demographic surprises and skewed sex ratios, trafficked wives and mail-order brides. Thanks to the devaluation of females and misused technologies, sex selection has reached staggering dimensions in recent decades. Hvistendahl’s call to action is the most well-documented and compelling yet.”
New York Times, Ross Douthat, June 26, 2011
Unnatural Selection reads like a great historical detective story, and it’s written with the sense of moral urgency that usually accompanies the revelation of some kind of enormous crime.”
Globe and Mail, July 1, 2011
Brave, well researched and imminently controversial . From the distant vista of the West, where we don’t really consider what it would mean to have an only son who can never find a mate, the unbalanced sex ratio in Asia may seem like relatively small news. This remarkable book goes a long way to bringing the pain and the urgency of the issue home. Mara Hvistendahl is not just entering an important conversation, she’s starting one.” the dogged self-destruction of a braggadocio crippled by the conviction of his own superiority.”
Washington Post, July 3, 2011
Massively well-documented . [Hvistendahl] has written a disturbing, engrossing book.”
Economist, August 6, 2011
Ms. Hvistendahl is convincing in telling the little-known story of how Westerners helped create the conditions under which sex selection began in Asia . Hvistendahl’s distinctive contribution is twofold. She provides a history of the modern practice of sex-selective abortion, based on new and detailed research, and she helps readers think about its possible consequences.”
I highly recommend her illuminating book on this crucial subject.
Particularly interesting is the possibility of the restrictive family size rules in communist China may have been caused by capitalists in the West.
This is one of the best books I've read in the past decade -- and I read quite a lot of books.
I tried to like this book but couldn't. Im sure it's important,but needed a good editor. Very repetitious.Published 10 days ago by cate
An interesting, well-written read, even with the weighty subject matter.Published 1 month ago by Maryanna Kraft
Unnatural Selection came I would say at the right... Its a must read for parents who feel the need to populate the would with men. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Aaigboje
Very well written. The author gives a very good historical background of the problem, which makes every thing much more interesting!Published 4 months ago by Lala Fatma
Yet another example of the unintended consequences of social engineering. We are clever enough to invent and implement new technologies, but not wise enough to think them through.Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth Brown
The subject of sex selection has it all: history, geography, politics, technology, business, economics, inequality, and ethics. Read morePublished 5 months ago by The Parm
The topic of demographic is often overlooked by everybody: economists, politicians, scientists, yet it is probably the biggest factor in the development of any country. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Art. K.
What the author covered in this book she covered well. But I found the finger pointing irritating. MH spends a lot of time blaming the West for choices made in the East. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jacqueline Phillips