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Adult -- Margaret Sanger's Eugenic Legacy

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  • mwittlans@aol.com
    Check to see if this title is already in your library s catalog. If it is, put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2005
      Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is,
      put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right
      away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.

      Title: Margaret Sanger's Eugenic Legacy: The Control of Female Fertility
      Author: Angela Franks
      Publisher: McFarland & Company
      Date Published: January 2005
      ISBN: 0786420111
      Price: 39.95 softcover

      from amazon.com:
      Book Description
      Margaret Sanger, the American birth-control and population-control advocate
      who founded Planned Parenthood, stands like a giant among her contemporaries.
      With her dominating yet winning personality, she helped generate shifts of
      opinion on issues that were not even publicly discussed prior to her activism,
      while her leadership was arguably the single most important factor in achieving
      social and legislative victories that set the parameters for today’s political
      discussion of family-planning funding, population-control aid, and even sex
      This work addresses Sanger’s ideas concerning birth control, eugenics,
      population control, and sterilization against the backdrop of the larger eugenic

      Customer Review:
      Exposing the Agenda of Planned Parenthood's Founder, April 18, 2005
      Reviewer:R. K. OBANNON (Washington, D.C.)

      TIME magazine called Margaret Sanger one of the 100 most important people of
      the 20th century, saying that "her crusade to legalize birth control spurred
      the movement for women's liberation." While many remember her advocacy for
      birth control, few remember or give due consideration to the eugenic philosophy
      that drove Sanger and her allies in the birth control, and later population
      control or "family planning" movements. This book corrects that significant
      historical deficit.

      In this book, Franks shows that any concern Sanger had for women's rights was
      secondary to her larger agenda -- helping to create a better race by
      controlling the fertility of those she saw as society's least "fit" members -- the
      poor, the disabled, the "feebleminded," the sickly, the epileptic, the alcoholic,
      etc. Where persuasion worked, that was fine, but as Franks points out, Sanger
      and her allies were prepared to use coercion when they felt it was necessary
      to achieve their eugenic aims.

      Franks traces what she identifies as the "control movement" from its earliest
      days in the 1920s when sterilization programs began to spring up in Virginia,
      Alabama, North Carolina, and later California to the 1990s when U.N. "family
      planning" money helped support forced sterilizations and abortions in China.
      Along the way, she identifies the key players, policies, and programs that
      helped to mainstream many of the ideas that the world once found so abhorrent in
      Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.

      There are those in our modern PC culture that might be tempted to dismiss
      such charges, but this book is thorough and well documented, with over 1,200
      footnotes and a bibliography featuring about a thousand books, articles, and
      interviews on Sanger, her associates, and the organizations they founded and led.

      The tone is academic, but the language is generally accessible, so that both
      scholars and activists alike will benefit from the reading of it.

      Despite Sanger's celebration as a liberator of women and the feminist
      hagiographies that have been written of Planed Parenthood's founder, Franks argues
      that Sanger's eugenic ideas are antithetical to freedom and to true feminism,
      aiming to suppress precisely what it is that makes women women.

      Sanger certainly had enormous influence, but before deciding whether that
      influence was good or bad, one would be well advised to read this book.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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