A stimulating, illuminating look at the booming baby-making business and the knotty questions it raises.



Washington Post Magazine feature writer Mundy examines the cultural impact of reproduction technologies through the stories of individual men and women and the people helping them create the babies they have been unable to conceive naturally.

The author puts the present status of assisted reproduction in perspective with a brief history of the science behind the new technologies and some revealing statistics about the number of people and dollars involved. While sperm banks have been around for decades, it was the discovery that eggs could be retrieved vaginally that sparked the rapid growth in fertility clinics. Childless wives and heterosexual women whose biological clocks are ticking are not the only clients seeking help at these centers. Demonstrating how the traditional family unit is being changed by reproductive technology, Mundy includes in her cast of characters a gay male couple who acquired twin daughters, using both an egg donor and a surrogate mother, and bisexual or lesbian women who turn to sperm banks to conceive their own babies, many of them having struck out with adoption agencies. Fertility is big business, generating three billion dollars in annual revenues, and it’s largely unregulated in America, the author notes. She identifies many medical and moral issues that must be addressed. The sharp rise in multiple births poses dangers to the health of both mother and babies. Donors’ rights to privacy can conflict with their progeny’s desire for information and/or a relationship. Hundreds of thousands of unused frozen embryos currently have an ambiguous legal status. Male IVF babies appear to have higher rates of physical defects. Many professionals are troubled by the use of reproduction technology to select a child’s sex.

A stimulating, illuminating look at the booming baby-making business and the knotty questions it raises.

Pub Date: April 24, 2007

ISBN: 1-4000-4428-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2007

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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