IN THE REVIEW

The Theft of Childbirth

Immaculate Deception: A New Look at Women and Childbirth in America

by Suzanne Arms

Birth Without Violence

by Frederick Leboyer
Childbirth has nowhere been regarded merely as one possible event in a woman’s life. The Hebrews saw in women’s travail the working of “Eve’s curse” for tempting Adam to the Fall. The Romans called it poena magna—the great pain. But poena also means punishment, penalty. Whether as a “peak event” …

The Anti-Feminist Woman

The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women's Liberation

by Midge Decter
This book is harmless, predictable, and sad. Like much ad hoc journalism, it is shallow, because the writer has set out to label and destroy a developing phenomenon like the women’s movement rather than to reflect on the needs and conflicts that generated it. Midge Decter’s writing lacks any sense …

The Case for a Drop-out School

Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is a harsh streak of downtown-rushing traffic edged by project housing, high-rise urban development apartments, Spanish grocerias, bodegas, and bars, empty lots bull-dozed for new developments, condemned storefronts, and apartments with boarded and tinned-over entrances and broken windows. To the east …