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Sanger, Margaret (1879-1966)

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is Margaret Sanger and the movement for the right to use birth control.


Six Superlative Sources

· Chesler, Ellen. Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America. Simon and Schuster, 1992. Best comprehensive, scholarly biography of Sanger.

· McCann, Carole R. Birth Control Politics in the United States, 1916-1945. Cornell University Press, 1994.

· Gordon, Linda. The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America. University of Illinois Press, 2003.

· Katz, Esther, with Cathy Moran Hajo and Peter C. Engelman. The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Vol 1: The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928. University of Illinois Press, 2003.

· Katz, Esther, Cathy Moran Hajo, and Peter C. Engelman. The Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm: Smith College Collections and Collected Documents Series, with printed reel guide. University Publications of America, 1996, 1997.

· The Margaret Sanger Papers Collection. Library of Congress (on microfilm). A separate collection covering especially Sanger's organizational work in the 1930s.

Other Excellent Sources

· Margaret Sanger Papers Web Site.

· Reed, James. The Birth Control Movement and American Society: From Private Vice to Public Virtue. Princeton University Press, 1978.

· Sanger, Margaret. My Fight for Birth Control. Farrar and Rinehardt, 1931. This and the next cited book are the two autobiographies produced by Sanger, both written as propaganda tools, which offer interesting self-portraits, though neither offer accurate nor intimate depictions of Sanger's life and do not cover the last two decades of her life.

· Sanger, Margaret. Margaret Sanger: Autobiography. W.W. Norton, 1938. Reprinted with a foreword by Kathryn Cullen-Dupont, Cooper Square Press, 1999.

· Dash, Joan. A Life of One's Own: Three Gifted Women and the Men They Married. Paragon House, 1973. This and the next cited book are two perceptive portraits of Sanger as a feminist.

· Forster, Margaret. Significant Sisters: The Grassroots of American Feminism, 1839-1939. Alfred Knopf, 1985.

· The Woman Rebel. This was Sanger's controversial 1914 journal in which she first advocated birth control. All seven issues of The Woman Rebel are included in the Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition, Collected Documents Series, cited above. The Woman Rebel is also available as part of University Publications of America's Periodicals on Women and Women's Rights, and it has been reprinted by the Archives of Social History in 1976.

· Sanger, Margaret. Family Limitation (1914-1931). Sanger's instructional pamphlet on various contraceptive methods. Many versions of this pamphlet were created and have been microfilmed as part of the Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition cited above.

· Moore, Gloria, and Ronald Moore. Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement: A Bibliography, 1911-1984. Scarecrow Press, 1986. A bibliography of Sanger's public writings and related work, but it is not comprehensive.

· Lader, Lawrence. The Margaret Sanger Story and the Fight for Birth Control. Doubleday, 1955. Written with Sanger's cooperation and assistance, it covers more of her life but provides little documentation and lacks objectivity in its assessments.

· Margaret Sanger. Cobblestone Productions, Bruce Aldred, producer. NEH-funded 90-minute documentary video, 1997. Aired on PBS in 1998.

· Margaret Sanger: A Public Nuisance. 30-minute videotape funded by Independent Television Service, directed by Therese Svoboda and Steve Bull, produced by Barbara Abrash, Esther Katz and Laurence Hegarety, 1992-1993. Distributor: Women Make Movies. Covers Sanger's opening of the Brownsville clinic, her subsequent arrest and imprisonment.

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