A searingly honest debut memoir by a leader in the fight for a woman's right to “legally gain and exercise reproductive choice—the power of life and death.”

Hoffman—founder and CE0 of Choices, one of the largest women's medical facilities in the country and editor of the quarterly magazine On The Issues—writes about how stultifying she found the expectations for women as she was growing up. She explored the idea of living an artistic life but lacked a true calling until, by chance, in 1970, she answered an ad for a part-time job as assistant to a New York City family doctor. New York State had just legalized abortion, and her employer, Dr. Martin Gold, saw this as an opportunity to position his HMO as a leader in providing abortion services to women. He and his partner opened the Flushing Women's Medical Center, one of the first ambulatory abortion facilities in the country, and she managed the office for them. The next year, she and Gold established Choices, with her as director. The clinic pioneered in the new field of women's-health services, offering alternatives to mastectomy as well as abortion services. She writes animatedly of the exciting first few years when the trajectory of the women's-rights movement was on the upswing and she became one of its leaders as her relationship with Dr. Gold deepened—ultimately leading to marriage. Then the right-to-life movement regrouped. By 1985, there had been 150 attacks on abortion clinics, and the author received numerous death threats. An inspiring story of a woman who participated in “one of the greatest revolutions in history”—and is still at the forefront of the struggle.      


Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55861-751-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Feminist Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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