Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade Paperback – February 28, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0415926768 ISBN-10: 0415926769 Edition: 2nd
Buy used
$15.59
Buy new
$29.04
Used & new from other sellers Delivery options vary per offer
61 used & new from $2.69
Rent from Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$8.46
Paperback, February 28, 2000
"Please retry"
$29.04
$28.79 $2.69
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Hero Quick Promo
Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now
$29.04 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade + The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades  Before Roe v. Wade
Price for both: $44.21

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

In a thorough and important, if often tiresomely repetitive, study, Solinger (Women's Studies/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder) dissects the politics of female fertility in America from 1945-65, when the strikingly different treatments of middle-class white and poor black pregnant teenagers clearly reflected the demands of a racist, family-centered economy. Before WW II, Solinger reports, unwed mothers in the US were considered the products of defective, amoral environments-- permanent outcasts for whom no kind of rehabilitation was possible. After the war, she argues, a perceived societal need to produce as many white children in ``healthy'' male-headed families as possible, combined with new Freudian psychological theories and racist sociological assumptions concerning black sexuality, engendered a dualistic treatment of unwed pregnant women depending on the color of their skin. Whereas the ``market value'' of white babies enabled and even encouraged white single mothers to ``sacrifice'' their offspring for adoption in exchange for a second chance at respectability (usually after exile in a maternity home), ``unmarketable'' illegitimate black babies were considered the inevitable product of the ``natural'' black libido and were therefore left to be raised by their mothers, who were in turn treated as incorrigible breeders who gave birth to win more government benefits. With the ``sexual revolution'' (for whites) and ``population bomb'' (for blacks) of the late 60's and early 70's came the technological fixes of birth control and legalized abortion--though these steps toward female self-determination for women of all races were more a result, Solinger claims, of a slump in the white baby market and fear of black overpopulation than of societal concern for the fate of single mothers. Revelatory but regrettably dry work with repercussions for today. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

A stunning but troubling book that illuminates the deeply racialized terrain on which the politics of women's reproductive capacities and decisions have been played out. Contributing mightily to contemporary social policy debates, this rich history of single pregnancy from 1945 to 1965 warns us that reproductive rights must not only guard each woman's choice to contracept or to terminate a pregnancy, but also must win honor and social support for each woman's choice to become a mother.
–Gwendolyn Mink, author of Welfare's End

It is impossible to read Wake Up Little Susie without understanding that racism as well as a deeply felt distrust of women as mothers--magnified when the women are not formally subordinated to husbands--makes such odd national passions possible.
–Bernice L. Hausman, Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, vol 4.1
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (February 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415926769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415926768
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
0
3 star
3
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 11 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Linda A. Webber on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am a reunited Mom and as I was reading this book I felt the shame begin to lift from my soul. I have been asking myself why I didn't fight harder to keep my baby and after reading "Wake up Little Susie" I see there was a conserted agenda of our government, religious institutions,and those of the adoption industry to separate our children from us in the name of what others deemed was for the best.In truth it was both a punishment for female sexuality and also we were used to provide children for couples unable to procreate. The problem is those same people did not have to live with the wounds of us Moms and our children when they decided that unmarried woman were not worthy to parent their own flesh and blood in the marketting of our children.I am freeing my shame and I am now putting it where it belongs on those that profited off of the hearts of woman and children. Shame on them! And thank you Rickie Solinger for your honest account on what was done to us . Linda Webber
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Neither "tiresome", "repetitive" nor "dry" (as stated by one reviewer). On the contrary, this book is exciting and refreshingly insightful. Only a "birth" mother can attest to the truth and honesty of the experience Ms. Solinger painstakingly, courageously and historically details in "Wake Up Little Susie".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tricia Shore on July 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book helped me understand my mother's surrender of her right to raise me. It has helped tremendously in the reunion between my mom and me. I was especially interested to find that giving away the rights to raise one's child was more of a European-American phenomenon than an African-American one. I remember taking a class once with an African-American woman who was trying to research her family tree. I felt a great kinship with her because my own roots were severed, by adoption rather than slavery. How cruel for society and the adoption industry to coerce mothers into making their babies commodities. I would like to believe that practice has stopped, but even though the maternity homes are no longer there, the coercion still is. Reading Solinger's book made me think and do even more research into the adoption industry. I'm so thankful to Solinger for writing it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By xanthus32 on August 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
When I first read Ricki Solinger's book I could not believe that she had hit upon the same phenomenon as I had discovered in my doctoral research. I found her work thorough, scholarly yet biting. In no way is it restricted to those women who lost their babies to the adoption industry, but is an insightful view into the repressed '60s which many like to think of as "swinging' and sexually free. Read Solinger's work along with Wini Brienes' "Young, White and Miserable" and Susan Douglas's "Where the Girls Are" and you will get an accurate picture of what the '50s and'60s' were *really* like. I know - 'cause I was well and truly there.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Not for everybody, BUT if you are a birthmother who relinquished a child 1940-1975, or an adoptee or adoptive parent involved in adoption from same period, READ this. The attitudes and treatment have changed so much that reading this is important for anyone involved in an adoption during that period of time. It also reveals interesting differences in attitudes and behavior between white, middle-class America and other groups.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Heather on January 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great study on what it was like for women, both black and white, to deal with pregnancy outside the institution of marriage. This book is well-researched and it reads like a book you would read for a college class so it is not something to just pick up and read on the beach. This book is highly informative and easy to read. The author has organized each chapter well and there is an extensive biography at the end of the book in case readers are interested as to where she obtained her information or who are interested to get other books on the same topic.

This book took me awhile to get through because it is not light reading. It is dense and has a great number of arguments and details in it but its worth the read if you are interested in post-WWII unwed pregnancy and how different the experience was depending on your race. This book definitely makes the female readers of today grateful for the Roe v Wade case that made abortion a legal practice in this country.

I would only recommend this book to people who are truely interested in the subject matter. Otherwise you will find this book dry and boring.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade
This item: Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade
Price: $29.04
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com