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Reviews

"Wolf is well-known for her meticulous and extensive research, deep understanding of medical issues, and keen analysis of critical aspects of women's reproductive history. I anticipate that Cesarean Section will be a landmark book."

"Offering a measured and persuasive argument, this book makes an illuminating, erudite intervention in the national conversation about the historical experience of cesarean section and the drivers that fuel today's sky-high rates."

"A remarkable and insightful history of a procedure performed on one-third of women giving birth in the US today. Jacqueline H. Wolf writes like an obstetrician who has been at the bedside through the ages!"

"With meticulous research and sweeping insight, Jacqueline Wolf unfolds the unfathomable: how, over the course of a mere century, human beings normalized surgery as the means of bringing babies into the world. Cesarean Section is an urgent wake-up call."

"A timely and welcome look at the evolution of scientific and popular perspectives on the cesarean epidemic."

"Anyone who wants to understand how the intersection of professional dominance, economics, the rise of technology, and the redefining of childbirth risk shaped today’s birth culture should look no further than Jacqueline Wolf’s thoroughly engaging book."

"An outstanding and fascinating contribution to the history of medicine, women's history, and modern social history. Ambitious in its chronological scope, accessibly written, and convincingly argued, Cesarean Section offers new and original insight into the history of childbirth, as well as important broader matters, such as medical power, the technologization of hospitals, and the ethics of modern medical care."

"Wolf draws from an impressive array of medical archives, medical literature, popular women's magazines, secondary source material, and her own oral history interviews. The outcome is a monograph that contemplates the complex factors behind the evolution of risk, technology, and birthing. Wolf deftly crafts a narrative that uses the stories of women's recollections of their birthing experience as well as those of physicians as a way to reinforce her historical analysis of medical sources and data... Cesarean Section will appeal to those interested in women's history and medical history as well as the relationship between culture, risk, and technology."

"Cesarean Section is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of childbirth or surgery, but also those who want to read a focused case study on the evolution of medical technologies and practices in modern America. Wolf certainly makes a major contribution to the literature on reproductive health and childbirth, but her ambitious scope and methodologies—particularly the idea of risk and her use of oral histories—offer a lot to a more general audience. It would make a welcome addition to syllabi for medical and women's history classes, particularly at the graduate level."

"Wolf's Cesarean Section is a compelling study of the procedure in the history of medicine. Her skillfully balanced monograph makes extensive use of a number of primary sources... This book could easily be used in a history of science and medicine course due to its accessibility."