Vendor
Black Agency
Published by
Norton (2014-10)
Original language
English
Themas
Memoirs
BACK

THE BIRTH OF THE PILL

How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution

by Eig, Jonathan

The dramatic story of how Gregory Goodwin Pincus toiled for decades to develop the birth control pill. Eventually, his little pill would transform the lives and careers of millions of women and ignite a sexual revolution. But beyond the pill’s indisputable impact, there’s another remarkable story about its creation that’s never been told: that of the passionate, brilliant, and tumultuous life of its creator.

Former Wall Street Journal reporter Eig (Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster, 2010, etc.) recounts the origin story of the oral contraceptive—“the pill”—as a scientific answer to a cultural conundrum: how to have sex without pregnancy.

The birth-control pill has been called the most important invention of the twentieth century. Yet its creation was anything but certain. This is the story of the eclectic group who created the pill against overwhelming odds: Gregory Pincus, the young scientist who was fired from Harvard University and forced to launch his own lab in a garage; Margaret Sanger, the radical feminist whose beliefs about sex frightened the old guard; Katharine McCormick, the philanthropist with a troubled past who bankrolled the research; and John Rock, the Catholic doctor with movie-star looks who battled his own church to win public support. Their story is told here with remarkable detail and narrative force by one of America’s foremost popular historians. Jonathan Eig delivers both a gripping scientific suspense story and a powerful social and cultural history.

A well-paced, page-turning popular history featuring a lively, character-driven blend of scientific discovery and gender politics.

Jonathan Eig, a former reporter at the Wall Street Journal, is the bestselling author of The Birth of the Pill, Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Get Capone. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Ronit Zafran

Available View on Rightsdesk


Weblink:
wwww.jonathaneig.com

Comments

A well-paced, page-turning popular history featuring a lively, character-driven blend of scientific discovery and gender politics

Review: Kirkus

Eig has written an absorbing history of the pill’s conception and birth. One of the book’s great strengths—accomplished through his smart choice of lead characters—is the depiction of how arduous it is to make real social change.

www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/pills-difficult-birth

Review: The New Yorker

TV/Film rights: Sonar Entertainment has optioned the rights to Jonathan Eig’s nonfiction book The Birth Of The Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution for development as an event series for television, with Denise DiNovi and R.J. Cutler executive producing and Cutler set to to direct.

deadline.com/2016/05/birth-of-the-pill-tv-event-series-sonar-jonathan-eig-1201749643/

Quote: Black

An engrossing and paramount chronicle… [Eig] brings his keen understanding of competition and outlawry, his affinity for rebels, and vigorous and vivid writing style to this dramatic tale of strong personalities, radical convictions, and world-altering scientific and social breakthroughs.

Review: Booklist, starred review

Cosmopolitan interview by Robin Marty: Eig tells Cosmopolitan.com why he wrote this particular story, why both Planned Parenthood and the Catholic Church actually stood in the way of the pill's creation, and how the anti-sex attitude of the '50s can still be seen today.

www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/interviews/a31905/jonathan-eig-birth-of-the-pill/

Quote: Cosmopolitain

Fascinating… Weaving medical, corporate, and political history with rich biographical detail, Eig turns the history of the pill into a scientific suspense story full of profoundly human characters. The result is cultural history at its finest.

Review: Examiner.com

The Pill is that rare invention that transforms the world. In this gripping book, Jonathan Eig tells how an unlikely group—Margaret Sanger, Katherine McCormick, Dr. Gregory Pincus, and Dr. John Rock—came together to achieve a scientific breakthrough and win acceptance for it in the face of intense opposition. The Birth of the Pill is vivid, compelling, and important.

Quote: T.J. Stiles

Jonathan Eig's THE BIRTH OF THE PILL was chosen as A Chicago Tribune "Best Books of 2014" • A Slate "Best Books 2014: Staff Picks" • A St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Best Books of 2014"

Quote: Black

Jonathan Eig turns the history of the pill into a smart and spicy account of the unlikely bonds that linked a millionaire activist, a free-loving crusader, a Roman Catholic gynecologist, and a maverick scientist. The Birth of the Pill is at once intelligent, well researched, witty, and captivating… [A] unique prism into the changing morals about sex, women, and marriage in 20th century America.

Quote: Randi Hutter Epstein

Aside from being a fascinating look into the evolution of medical practices, funding and ethics, Eig’s book is an intricate portrait of how completely women’s lives are weaved into our culture in disturbing and contradictory ways.

Review: San Francisco Chronicle

NPR's Fresh Air interview with Jonathan Eig

www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/10/07/354103536/the-great-bluff-that-lead-to-a-magical-pill-and-a-sexual-revolution

Quote: NPR

[Eig] brings a lively, jocular approach to the story, casting an unlikely four-part ensemble comedy starring Sanger; the iconoclastic lead scientist, Gregory Goodwin Pincus; the Roman Catholic physician John Rock; and the supplier of cash behind it all, Katharine McCormick.

Review: New York Times Book Review

This book...does a masterful job explaining the imagination, perseverance and daring it took to ease their plight... The story of four “brave, rebellious misfits,” “The Birth of the Pill” brims with fascinating detail, such as the forgotten fact that Prescott Bush — father and grandfather to presidents — served as treasurer for Planned Parenthood’s first fundraising campaign, in 1947. In our times, when progress on women’s reproductive health is undone and held hostage to the religious right, when legislatures and courts threaten to negate the miracles of science and human progress so dazzlingly portrayed here, Eig’s book is essential reading.

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/book-review-the-birth-of-the-pill-and-the-reinvention-of-sex-by-jonathan-eig/2014/10/17/914acb3c-48c0-11e4-b72e-d60a9229cc10_story.html

Review: The Washington Post

Eig's fascinating narrative of medical innovation paired so perfectly with social revolution befits a remarkable chapter of human history.

Review: Publishers Weekly (starred)

UK: Macmillan; Chinese (simplified): Guangxi Normal University Press ; France: Editions Globe ;Netherlands: Carrera

Quote: Black

The creation story of oral contraception, along with the social upheavals attributed to it, is not new territory. The life of Sanger, who founded the precursor to Planned Parenthood, is well documented too, including in a 2013 graphic novel by Peter Bagge, “Woman Rebel,” and a 1992 biography by Ellen Chesler, “Woman of Valor.” Eig, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, brings a lively, jocular approach to the story, casting an unlikely four-part ensemble comedy starring Sanger; the iconoclastic lead scientist, Gregory Goodwin Pincus; the Roman Catholic physician John Rock; and the supplier of cash behind it all, Katharine McCormick.

www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/books/review/jonathan-eig-the-birth-of-the-pill-review.html?_r=0

Review: New York Times

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