America and the Pill

Published on the 50th anniversary of FDA approval of the Pill, author Elaine Tyler May steps back and provides a concise survey of its history, and what it has and hasn’t meant for the lives of women and society as a whole. FDA approval generated extravagant hopes and deep-set fears, and on both counts the actual legacy of the Pill has been more complicated.

May, a historian, places her story in a broad historical context, addressing matters such as international events, and the question of race and class. Though her own parents were involved in the development of the Pill, May presents a balanced assessment, considering the voices of women who embraced oral contraception and those who did not. She ends America and the Pill with a look at how young women today view the Pill.  A worthwhile account of the contraceptive that changed contraception as we know it.


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