BOOK REVIEWS

BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE

“Crisply argued, creatively researched, and with enough controversy to provoke discussion within and beyond feminist scholarship, this fine book deserves a wide audience among health care professionals as well as scholars.” – Margaret Marsh, American Historical Review

Kline does an excellent job at capturing the spirit of these health feminists as they worked in their perspective areas. …The fractures and fatigue experienced by these women’s health activists are captured through Kline’s effective use of numerous primary sources and oral history interviews. The analysis provides important insight into health feminists’ attempts to own and redefine the management of women’s bodies in health and sickness. This work is crucial scholarship to those interested in the historical intersection of gender, race, and health.” – Linda Maldonado, Nursing History Review

  • “Kline’s slim volume brims with information and insight, but so skillfully written that it never seems dense….Kline’s Bodies of Knowledge would work well with a wide range of students and in a wide range of courses; it is an excellent and engaging way to introduce students to the recent history of reproductive health care.” – Jeanne Flavin, Affilia

“Kline reveals the tensions between doing history and attempting reform from either the bodily perspective or the political—or both. Focusing on 1970s women’s health advocacy in the United States in the areas of self-help, pelvic instruction, abortion, birth control, and midwifery, the book uncovers problems and successes within each effort. The evidence in Bodies of Knowledge shocks, amuses, and infuriates but, above all, educates the reader.” – Jimmy Wilkinson Meyer, Bulletin of the History of Medicine

“Bodies of Knowledge is a very important book. Kline’s account of the struggle between medical professionals, and among feminists themselves, regarding matters of the female body and the physical experience of being a woman is a much needed addition to the already exiting literature of women’s health, feminism, and the history of science and medicine. This book would easily work in a variety of courses…” – Jessica Nickrand, Journal of the History of Biology

“The perseverance, sadness, anger, and hope of these feminists streams through Kline’s thoughtful prose. Her style of writing is accessible to all audiences in feminist scholarship, from novice to expert. Bodies of Knowledge is a short read but a compelling analysis and overview of the power of women’s bodies in the second wave.” – Heather A. Roy, Women's Studies in Communication

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