Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born

Tina Cassidy (Author)


"Well-researched and engaging . . . Birth is a clever, almost irreverent look at an enduring everyday miracle. (A-)" --Entertainment Weekly
"Wonderful. Packed full of information, a brilliant mixture of ancient wisdom and modern science." --Kate Mosse, author of the New York Times best seller, Labyrinth
"Birth is a power-packed book. . . . A lively, engaging, and often witty read, a quirky, eye-opening account of one of life's most elemental experiences." --The Boston Globe
Published to widespread acclaim, Tina Cassidy's smart, engaging book is the first world history of childbirth in fifty years. From evolution to the epidural and beyond, Tina Cassidy presents an intelligent, enlightening, and impeccably researched cultural history of how and why we're born the way we are. Women have been giving birth for millennia but that's about the only constant in the final stage of the great process that is human reproduction. Why is it that every culture and generation seems to have its own ideas about the best way to give birth? Cassidy explores the physical, anthropological, political, and religious factors that have and will continue to influence how women bring new life into the world.

Product Details

$14.00  $12.88
Grove Press
Publish Date
September 10, 2007
6.18 X 0.82 X 8.9 inches | 0.97 pounds
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About the Author

Tina Cassidy is the executive vice president and chief content officer at the public relations and social content firm InkHouse and also a board member at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. She has written two previous nonfiction books, Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born and Jackie After O: One Remarkable Year When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Defied Expectations and Rediscovered her Dreams. Previously, she was a journalist at The Boston Globe, where she covered politics, sports, fashion, and business.


"It's as true of feminism as anything else that if we don't know our history we're condemned to repeat it. A liberating look at how assumptions have changed of what a good childbirth is supposed to be."
"It's remarkable how little we know about the one piece of human history we all share: birth. Tina Cassidy has written a lively and informative journey through centuries of what women could really expect when they were expecting."
"This smart and fun read is full of 'who knew?' moments that show in fascinating detail how birth has affected our culture in so many ways--even explaining the origins of gossip. Mothers, non-mothers and those who don't want to think about all the messy details of childbirth will find this a gripping read."
"The history of birth, as Cassidy deftly tells it, might well be summed up as What No One Ever Expected When They're Expecting: Crank-and-pulley birthing systems and fish-bladder vacuum extractors. Man-midwives in drag and obstetricians trained on 'mock mothers.' With wit and aplomb, Cassidy covers the ongoing march of birthing fads, from the surreal horrors of the Twilight Sleep to Lamaze, doulas, and the current craze for elective C-sections." -- MARY ROACH, AUTHOR OF STIFF: THE CURIOUS LIVES OF HUMAN CADAVERS AND SPOOK: SCIENCE TACKLES THE AFTE