Thursday, July 29, 2010

America and the Pill by Elaine Tyler May

On the fiftieth anniversary of the FDA approval of the birth control pill, Elaine Tyler May has created a very readable history that traces how the pill went from wishful thinking to medical reality to centre of controversy to an everyday reality. I was expecting this to be a dense, heavy look that emphasized the science part of it, but it wasn't that at all. Instead, it focused more on the history, the social implications, and the people involved with the development of the pill. The book was at its strongest when detailing the conflicted attitudes that people had about the pill and when talking about why there isn't yet a male birth control pill. At times some aspects did seem a little bit glossed over (such as the information on the original clinical trials), but the trade-off of this is a book that's approachable for many people. I hope that people do pick this book up, especially women like the ones who contributed to the last chapter in the book on the pill today - it shows how far things have come, and all the changes that had to happen for it to be that way.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
This Man's Pill by Carl Djerassi
The Moral Property of Women by Linda Gordon
Feminism and Pop Culture by Andi Zeisler
BITCHfest edited by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler
Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists by J. Courtney Sullivan and Courtney E. Martin

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