- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (October 19, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393351890
- ISBN-13: 978-0393351897
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 111 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution 1st Edition
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“Eig’s nimbly paced cultural history shows that the pill’s genesis was anything but simple.”
- New York Times (Editor’s Choice)
“[Eig] brings a lively, jocular approach to the story, casting an unlikely four-part ensemble comedy starring Sanger; the iconoclastic lead scientist, Gregory Goodwin Pincus; the Roman Catholic physician John Rock; and the supplier of cash behind it all, Katharine McCormick.”
- Irin Carmon, New York Times Book Review
“Suspense-filled and beautifully written…an irresistible tale.”
- Ken Burns
“A tale of scientific progress and social change as engaging and gripping as any suspense novel.”
- Molly Langmuir, Elle
“Fascinating… Weaving medical, corporate, and political history with rich biographical detail, Eig turns the history of the pill into a scientific suspense story full of profoundly human characters. The result is cultural history at its finest.”
- Alan W. Petrucelli, Examiner.com
“Jonathan Eig turns the history of the pill into a smart and spicy account of the unlikely bonds that linked a millionaire activist, a free-loving crusader, a Roman Catholic gynecologist, and a maverick scientist. The Birth of the Pill is at once intelligent, well researched, witty, and captivating… [A] unique prism into the changing morals about sex, women, and marriage in 20th century America.”
- Randi Hutter Epstein, author of Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank
“A fascinating look into the evolution of medical practices, funding and ethics [and] an intricate portrait of how completely women’s reproductive lives are woven into our culture in disturbing and contradictory ways.”
- Ashley Nelson, San Francisco Chronicle
“Masterful… when legislatures and courts threaten to negate the miracles of science and human progress so dazzlingly portrayed here, Eig’s book is essential reading.”
- Kate Manning, Washington Post
“Dynamic, highly engrossing… As hard as it is to put down The Birth of the Pill’s story of four privileged individuals’ thrilling quest for better living through science, it’s imperative to remember the scores of women lost to history whose flesh and blood helped make it a reality.”
- Anna Holmes, Los Angeles Times
“The pill is utterly ordinary today. The story of how we got here is anything but.”
- Hannah Levintova, Mother Jones
“Eig’s research is thorough and his account exhaustive.”
- Emily Witt, Bookforum
“Narrative nonfiction at its best… A fascinating and thorough look at one of the most important innovations of the 20th century.”
“Eig’s stylish storytelling makes this a fresh, infectiously readable take.”
- Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
“Who knew that the history of oral contraceptives could rival a good procedural drama, with a scrappy group of believers racing against time?”
- Meredith Counts, Bust
“Absorbing… One of the book’s great strengths―accomplished through his smart choice of lead characters―is the depiction of how arduous it is to make real social change.”
- Margaret Talbot, New Yorker
“Aside from being a fascinating look into the evolution of medical practices, funding and ethics, Eig’s book is an intricate portrait of how completely women’s lives are weaved into our culture in disturbing and contradictory ways.”
- San Francisco Chronicle
“An impassioned cultural history.”
- Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune
“Detailed, compelling history… Eig does a remarkable job of keeping the science and the storytelling in harmony.”
- Josh Modell, The Onion A.V. Club
About the Author
Jonathan Eig, a former reporter at the Wall Street Journal, is the best-selling author of The Birth of the Pill, Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Get Capone. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children.
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The religious zealots who continue dog reproductive freedom today will not relent.
Knowing they were there when Pinkus Sanger Rock and McCormack brsvely won FDA approval again shows us that real progress always comes from the exceptional few!!
Remember the Wright Brothers?
not being developed. I found it to be fascinating and realized how much effect it had on my generation.
Eig highlights the characters of reproductive rights pioneer Margaret Sanger, researcher Gregory Pincus, clinical doctor John Rock, and donor Susan McCormick, and shows how this small group of people, against huge odds, brought the pill into acceptance and widespread use.
I was a kid during the early 60s, and I knew two young women who were forced into unwanted, unhappy marriages by pregnancy. This book makes clear what an incalculable debt we owe these four pioneers.
I am however, so glad that the pill was invented and then finally actually approved for marketing (in some countries only very recently). And this is a fascinating story of how it all happened.