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The Birth of the Pill


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The story of the extraordinary characters behind the invention of the contraceptive Pill

Table of Contents

  • Chapter - 1: A Winter Night
  • Chapter - 2: A Short History of Sex
  • Chapter - 3: Spontaneous Ovulations
  • Chapter - 4: A Go-To-Hell Look
  • Chapter - 5: Lover and Fighter
  • Chapter - 6: Rabbit Tests
  • Chapter - 7: 'I'm A Sexologist'
  • Chapter - 8: The Socialite and the Sex Maniac
  • Chapter - 9: A Shotgun Question
  • Chapter - 10: Rock's Rebound
  • Chapter - 11: What Makes a Rooster Crow?
  • Chapter - 12: A Test in Disguise
  • Chapter - 12: Cabeza de Negro
  • Chapter - 14: The Road to Shrewsbury
  • Chapter - 15: 'Weary and Depressed'
  • Chapter - 16: The Trouble with Women
  • Chapter - 17: A San Juan Weekend
  • Chapter - 18: The Women of the Asylum
  • Chapter - 19: John Rock's Hard Place
  • Chapter - 20: As Easy as Aspirin
  • Chapter - 21: A Deadline to Meet
  • Chapter - 22: 'The Miracle Tablet Maybe'
  • Chapter - 23: Hope to the Hopeless
  • Chapter - 24: Trials
  • Chapter - 25: 'Papa Pincus's Pink Pills for Planned Parenthood'
  • Chapter - 26: Jack Searle's Big Bet
  • Chapter - 27: The Birth of the Pill
  • Chapter - 28: 'Believed to Have Magical Powers'
  • Chapter - 29: The Double Effect
  • Chapter - 30: La Senora de las Pastillas
  • Chapter - 31: An Unlikely Pitch Man
  • Chapter - 32: 'A Whole New Bag of Beans'
  • Chapter - 33: The Climax
    • Section - i: Epilogue
    • Acknowledgements - ii: Acknowledgements
    • Section - iii: Notes
    • Section - iv: Selected Bibliography
    • Index - v: Index

About the Author

Jonathan Eig, a former senior special reporter at the Wall Street Journal, is the author of three highly acclaimed books, two of which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. His first book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig (Simon & Schuster, 2005), won the Casey Award for best baseball book of 2005; his second book, Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season (Simon & Schuster, 2007), was named one of the best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, and the Washington Post. In his third book, Get Capone (Simon & Schuster, 2010), Eig discovered thousands of pages of new material on Capone, affirming his trustworthy reporting reputation in what the New York Times called a 'multifaceted portrait' and a 'gore-spattered thriller'.


Brilliant ... reads like a thriller ... For all the criticisms levelled at it in later years, the Pill's philosophical impact has been as significant as its physical effect. Its advocates deserve this vivid and life-affirming history. -- Joan Smith * Observer *
Written with pace and clarity, The Birth of the Pill is a vivid portrait of four brilliant and courageous misfits. -- Frances Wilson * Telegraph *
The American journalist Jonathan Eig is neither a woman nor, indeed an expert of women's reproductive health (his previous bestsellers, as he points out, were about "ballplayers and gangsters"). Rather gamely, considering the sensitivities and politics involved, he's chosen to write a history of the development of the birth control pill - and he carries it off with wit, verve and scholarly research. -- Isobel Lerwick * Financial Times *

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