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Customer Review

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important read, July 31, 2008
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This review is from: More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want (Hardcover)
This was a very enlightening read for me. The author does a really good job of making his case for family planning and the necessity of making sure that women have control and plenty of choices over their bodies and reproduction. This book really details the problems with population rise, and gives a pretty good historical account of why population stability is so important. This is an important book that needs to be read.

The author offers the reader a pretty good thumbnail sketch of the theories of where we Homo Sapiens originally came from, and why it was that we ended up on top rather than some of our distant cousins. Many of these theories are subjective and in the field of evolutionary biology there are as many theories as there are really good scholars, pretty good scholars, amateurs and your run of the mill crackpot, so for the number of pages the author does a really nice job giving the reader a good sampling of theories without overloading the reader.

Next the author gives the reader a very interesting history of contraceptives, attitudes towards sex over human history, feminism and opposition to all of these. I was fascinated to learn parts of history I was completely ignorant about before reading this book. The author also posits some very interesting theories about humans move to agrarian societies all the way to the witch trials in Europe. The author makes a very strong argument for sex and population being very important prime movers in human events. Of course population size and sex are always important, but this book has put forth some ideas I had not considered before.

What was very compelling for me was the author's work and description of working in third world countries. Reading his interviews with these people and getting an idea of the desperation they live with and the problems they face because they do not have access to adequate contraceptives or education was distressing. I couldn't imagine a life spent either pregnant or taking care of an infant all of ones life, or having sex be similar to playing Russian roulette where every encounter could cause pregnancy or disease. Even more than that was how badly these people want access to contraceptives and family planning resources which is heartbreaking. As I was reading about all the deaths and disease attributable to abortions and births performed in unsafe conditions that could have been prevented with nothing more than a simple condom you realize how lucky we are and just how little it would take to change other peoples lives for the better.

This book has some very well thought out arguments with detailed conclusions backed up with historical data and first hand research. Not only that but the author presents the material in a very accessible way. The book is short which diminishes the intimidation factor, and will hopefully make it more palatable for a more general readership. My one main criticism is that I hate the silly little puns and some of the attempts at levity that peppers this work. The author is obviously a well educated individual who has written a well thought out scientific book that is meant to be taken seriously. These puns and metaphors in scientific works are the bane of my existence. I cannot express the depth of my loathing for this practice. They irk me to no end. With that said, I understand that the author was attempting to give this book a wider readership and perhaps these attempts at levity help to lighten a very deep and serious subject for readers helping to bring more people to the book, but my understanding that doesn't have to mean that I like it. I didn't take off for it though, but felt I still needed to vent here a little.

This is a very serious subject, and is one that needs our attention now. This book is important for the discussion that needs to be taking place now. With that said I highly recommend this work.
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Location: TN USA

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