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Reviews

"Freidenfelds makes several worthy contributions to the scholarly literature. The most important of these is the rich and detailed evidence she provides about the ways in which ordinary men and women from several social groups experienced and viewed menstruation. She argues convincingly that experts and ordinary people together gave rise to the menstrual practices and beliefs that emerged and dominated in the twentieth century."

"Freidenfelds argues that innovations in menstrual management would not have been possible without the expansion of middle-class values and lifestyle expectations... Recommended especially for readers in gender studies."

"None who read this will fail to appreciate the sheer power of suggestion that marketing creates... Today's 'modern' women are more open about getting their periods, but for the less comfortable among us, the bold-faced title, The Modern Period, suggests a history book and thus lends itself to being read comfortably in public places with nary an old-fashioned blush."

"This is the best cultural history of menstruation of twentieth-century America."

"An informative and intellectually dense treatise... incorporating resources from feminist theory, history of science, anthropology, and medicine."

"The Modern Period is a good overview that combines the major themes raised by other secondary sources with original archival and interview research. It is well written and accessible to those new to the subject. It would be suitable for both undergraduate and graduate courses in medical history and gender studies."

"The Modern Period provides a rich picture of the changing public aspects of menstruation, by mining traditional historical sources such as the medical advice literature and advertisements for Kotex and Tampax. Freidenfelds goes further, however, and lets us in on the private aspects, on the discussions between mothers and daughters, boyfriends and girlfriends, and husbands and wives... Freidenfelds' deft use of these stories augments her solid social history with the seductive lure of eavesdropping."

"This book adds rich, varied, and interesting dimensions to what we knew about this important subject, and it should become required reading for anyone interested in the health of twentieth-century women."

"A thorough and engaging history of menstruation... Her title, The Modern Period, is more than a succinct description; it cleverly references her discussion throughout of how advancing Progressive values shaped beliefs and practices surrounding menstruation. The diversity of age and ethnicity among Freidenfelds' interview participants is particularly striking and significant."

"The Modern Period is a remarkable work... The reader learns a lot about the complex cultural history of menstrual management in the United States, which makes the book a worthy contribution to American historical and cultural studies alike."