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Reviews

"This is an exemplary study of how the nation which first had access to oral contraceptives first came to terms with their advantages, and their drawbacks."

" Intelligent and well-structured... An admirable exercise in social history."

"A particularly fascinating issue, trim and focused, sophisticated and helpful, fresh and very interesting."

"In every carefully organized, lucidly written chapter Watkins provides surprising corrections to conventional thinking about the new birth control method... One especially noteworthy theme is the book's exploration of the politics of the pill, including Planned Parenthood [Federation] of America's concerted efforts to rebut critics, federal officials' dramatically shifting positions from the 1950s to the 1970s on birth control, population control and family planning, and pill-induced tensions among feminists."

"Any study of the development of the birth-control pill will be centrally concerned with the expansion of women's reproductive choices. But, as this book so clearly demonstrates, it involves other questions too. In part, it is about the risks that come with the ingestion of oral contraception. It is about the relationship between women and doctors, between women and their partners and betwen science, medicine and the media. Not least, it is about how women have responded differently to this intervention into their bodies. Underpinned by some excellent archival material, interviews with key individuals and an extensive use of the newspapers, magazines and medical journals of the time, this study is particularly strong in its discussion of concerns over the safety of the Pill... This is not the only area of interest within this valuable book. Anyone concerned with the debate over scientific advance and medical authority will find this a highly stimulating study... For her, the Pill brought the possibility of voluntary pregnancy, and feminist (and other) critics of its medical effects and social repercussions will need to engage carefully with her arguments if this important debate is to be taken to a new level."