The Family Roe: An American Story


Product Details

$20.00  $18.60
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.56 X 8.18 X 1.17 inches | 1.19 pounds

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About the Author

Joshua Prager has written for the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. A former Harvard Nieman Fellow, he is the author of The Echoing Green (a Washington Post Best Book of the Year) and lives in New Jersey.


The scope is sweeping, the writing is beautiful. It's an epic story worthy of the impact this one case has had on the American psyche.--Michel Martin "NPR"
Mr. Prager's book is stupendous, a masterwork of reporting.... If you want to understand Roe more deeply before the coming decision, read it.--Peggy Noonan "Wall Street Journal"
Prodigiously researched, richly detailed, sensitively a fairy tale set in working-class America.--Margaret Talbot "The New Yorker"
[A]n honest glimpse into the American soul...a sweeping, granular, century-deep case for women's sovereignty over themselves.--Anand Giridharadas "New York Times Book Review"
Through rigorous reporting and sensitive portrayals, Prager animates Roe's leading and supporting figures and remakes our understanding of them....interweaving in-depth biographical sketches to transform Roe from an abstract legal doctrine into an epic family saga.--Mindy Jane Roseman "Washington Post"
The Family Roe is a work of deep empathy without sentimentality, a recovery of fact over myth, a quintessentially American story.--Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Joseph M. Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School
A prizeworthy masterpiece of poignant history, an emotionally compelling account of the profound issues that surround reproductive choice.--David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Liberty and Sexuality
Joshua Prager has humanized the story of how abortion came to be legalized in the United States-- and how it came to shape the American culture wars.... The book reads like detective fiction.--Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of Far From the Tree
Journalist Joshua Prager offers a masterclass in reporting in his book The Family Roe, which weaves concentric rings of activists and Christian fundamentalists, lawyers and Harvard Medical School graduates--groups called to action in the fiery debates over the case--to reveal a rich tapestry of American life and values in the 20th-century.-- "Time"
Prager's book does more than educate the reader on legal history; it shows how one changes over a lifetime. It is a study of the human experience.... Prager reminds the reader that stances on abortion can be as fluid and complex as the generations-long battle over it. He offers no hint of his own political standing and ultimately leaves his complete history of Roe open to every reader.-- "Los Angeles Review of Books"
Deeply reported and beautifully written.... Prager powerfully refutes the idea that women should have to win a morality contest in order to "deserve" access to abortion.--Lauren Gutterman "Slate"
A stunning read.-- "D Magazine"
Prager's book is not just a biography but also political history.... Prager excels in revealing the messy, complicated people at the heart of America's abortion fight; their motives, he seems to say, are much more tangled than any of them would likely admit.... The Family Roe is a fascinating portrait of a woman whose life was shaped by the abortion debate.-- "The New Republic"
The Family Roe: An American Story is a masterpiece of journalistic research.... Prager challenges readers' presuppositions and refuses to fit the book's messy stories into clear moral categories. Things (and people) are not always what they seem. Nearly all the people profiled in this book carry deep secrets that they refuse to reveal to others--but that Prager, as a master journalist, repeatedly succeeds in uncovering.--Daniel K. Williams "Christianity Today"
Extraordinary reporting.... Prager's narrative contains multitudes.--Chris Hammer "The Christian Century"
The Family Roe is the definitive historical account of Roe v Wade and the human stories behind the headlines. Joshua Prager tells these stories with respect and backs his writing with stunning research. I write this as one who seeks to defend the unborn and end the abortion industry in America. But everyone who cares about abortion in America--on both sides--must read this book and then get back to the argument. The Family Roe is a remarkable achievement.--R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Family Roe is an eminently valuable read.--Maria Mcfadden Maffucci "Human Life Review"
With a novelist's grace, Prager shows how the narratives we use to justify our personal decisions and our politics too often fail to make room for our own and others' unresolved ambivalence, messy realities, and human frailty.--Lara Freidenfelds "Nursing Clio"