A History of Contraception

from Antiquity to the Present Day

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This bookm the first history of contraception for almost fifty years, provides a scholarly and highly readable account of procreation and attempts to prevent it from ancient Greece to the late twentieth century. The story, as the author shows, is not one of unalleviated progress, and anything but a simple passage from ignorance to enlightenment. Marshalling evidence from demography, medicine, literature, religious, family and women's history, he shows both that the idea of limiting progeny is ever-present in humna history and that mnay contraceptive practices have endured for at least two and a half millennia. In cosidering questions of both motivation and method, Angus McLaren reveals the intimate interactions between reproductive decision-making on the one hand and social, economic, political and gender relationaships on the other.