Home >  News & Events > News Story

Professor Jean H. Baker Discusses Book on Controversial Reproductive Rights Activist

Release date: February 16, 2012

Goucher Professor of History Jean H. Baker '60 will discuss her newest book Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion in a conversation with President Sanford J. Ungar on Thursday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Buchner Hall of the college's Alumnae/i House.

This event, sponsored by Goucher's Office of the President, is free and open to the public, but all attendees must reserve tickets in advance by logging on to www.goucher.edu/tickets. For more information, contact the box office at 410-337-6333 or boxoffice@goucher.edu. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

In the biography, Baker explores the life and controversy of Sanger, a nurse and midwife trained in the gritty tenements of New York's Lower East Side who grew increasingly aware of the dangers of unplanned pregnancy-both physically and psychologically. A botched abortion that resulted in the death of a poor young mother catalyzed Sanger, and she quickly became one of the strongest voices in favor of sex education and contraception. The movement she started spread across the United States, eventually becoming Planned Parenthood, a vast international organization with her as its spokeswoman.

Undoubtedly the most influential advocate for birth control even before the term existed, Sanger ignited a movement that has shaped society to this day. Baker chronicles the life of an activist who was decisive in making birth-control information and, ultimately, the pill itself available to women worldwide.

The Boston Globe said, "Baker mixes impressive research and her own fierce analysis into an engaging narrative," while The Wall Street Journal praised Baker's "knack for the well-chosen detail."

Baker is a longtime professor at Goucher College and the author of several books on 19th-century American history, including The Stevensons: A Biography of an American Family, Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography, and Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists