MARGARET SANGER: Pioneer of the Future by Emily Taft Douglas

MARGARET SANGER: Pioneer of the Future

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Emily Taft Douglas has moved on from Remember the Ladies (1965) to celebrate the life and work of one particularly memorable lady, the pioneer of the birth control movement. However her book has less to say on both the personal and historical plane than Lawrence Lader's biography of 1955 The Margaret Sanger Story, though we do get some glimpses of the crusader and her cause in the last years before her death in 1966 -- the final triumphant tour to Japan and India, striking examples of postwar family planning; her challenge to Ike to debate his tabling of the Draper Report (recommending population control aid over military assistance); the development of ""the pill,"" promising legal decisions, and a tribute to ""The Woman of the Century."" But not enough is made of the fact that most of the anti-contraception laws she attacked still remain on the books, birth control is ""still ladled out in coffee spoons"" and condemned by the Pope, and poor people are to this day burdened with unwanted children. Douglas's attitude toward her subject is as admiring as Lader's in tracing the essentials of her early years, the Uphill fight started in 1914 against the law, the medical profession, the churches, the press, and even liberal reformers, and the steady progress from milestone to milestone and then on to national prominence and world renown. The only theme played up more than in Lader is her relationship to the sexual revolution. Even somewhat telescoped, Mrs. Sanger's story is still compelling.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1969
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston