Birth control, and the access to it, has continued to be a divisive issue in American political and social life. While birth control has almost become shorthand for “the pill,” a wide range of birth control methods have been in the American lexicon for the better part of its history. In his new book, Birth Control and American Modernity: A History of Popular Ideas
(Cambridge University Press, 2018), Trent MacNamara
explores the ways in which birth control was talked about, debated, and eventually accepted in the 20th century. Rather than having one centralized movement and leadership structure, MacNamara traces the multiple avenues in which birth control entered the lives of everyday Americans and gained social acceptance. Talking in conjunction with established historiography while also adding important perspectives, MacNamara’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in the birth control movement, social change, and large historical change.