This book is yet another reminder of how good I have it.
I had never considered what life was like for a woman before the Pill. While I had read books about women from before it's invention, such as The Second Sex and The Feminine Mystique (okay, before most middle class women could easily get it prescribed), these books didn't quite illuminate the problem like this. The first takes a comprehensive look at women that goes well beyond motherhood and not wanting it and the second looks at bored mothers. Neither is written with the hope that there could be another option, besides dangerous and illegal abortions, because there simply was not one. It's kind of like noticing the lack of cell phones in old movies, no one looks for one, so neither does the viewer.
Because this book focuses on the Pill itself, it also goes into the motivation for creating one for each of these four crusaders. They are Margaret Sanger, Katherine McCormick, Dr. Gregory Pincus and Dr. John Rock. Four amazing people who realized that there could be another way. Their journey is full of troubles and small victories. I loved the way they fielded the landmines of the 1950's rhetoric on sex and birth control. This book even covers the conversation (or motivation) around the terms that arose from this struggle such as birth control, family planning, and inhibiting ovulation. This was a PR nightmare that they were mostly careful of avoiding with terms like those. I wish they could see us now. Access isn't perfect, but most people seem to get the value in their amazing product.