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The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. Juni 2007


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Produktinformation

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

Journalism of the first order, moving and informative in equal measure. (San Francisco Chronicle)

A remarkably well-researched and accomplished book. (The New York Times Book Review)

A wrenching, riveting book. (Chicago Tribune)

Haunting. (People)

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Ann Fessler is professor of photography at Rhode Island School of Design and a specialist in video-installation art. She won a prestigious Radcliffe Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, for 2004, to complete her extensive research for this book. She is also the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the LEF Foundation, Boston; the Rhode Island Foundation; the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; Art Matters, New York; and the Maryland State Arts Council. An adoptee herself, she begins and ends the book with the story of her own successful quest to find her birth mother.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen 274 Rezensionen
78 von 79 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen History of Adoption Issues 2. Oktober 2007
Von Ingraham Thompson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book was recommended to me by one of the subjects within. As I am an adoptee who was surrendered in the mid 1960's I found the books revelations both informative and unsettling. I had never put the picture in my head of how socially motivated and financially interested some of the adoption agencies of the time were nor the gamut of emotions felt by these birthmothers. This is well researched from a historical standpoint as well as a facinating read delving into the very human feelings shared by those in the triad of adoption. Feelings, I might add, that are not well understood by those outside of this subculture. I have recommended this book to several counselor friends of mine and would do the same for anyone who may find themselves across the couch from persons involved in the adoption process. Mrs. Fessler's book flows very smoothly and is quite an easy read. The books stories are filled with the heart wrenching fear, dissapointment, guilt, anguish and uncertainty felt by many birthmothers but the ultimate message is one of underlying love, resolution and final completion. My final thoughts were of hope. Hope for governmental reform in its policies, hope for institutional reform in their practices and proceedures and hope for adoptee and birth parent alike in the illimination of uncertainties and for final completeness.
82 von 86 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An unforgettable and important account of social and political history 9. September 2006
Von Jessica Lux - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The subtitle says it all: this is the hidden history of women who surrendered children for adoption in the decades before Roe vs. Wade. Author Ann Fessler balances her chapters with first-person narratives from both the women who gave up children and from adopted children. Fessler's book explores the shame of getting pregnant in the post-WW II era, the lack of birth control education, the lack of medical birth control for unmarried women, and the hurry of "good" families to bury the mortifying secret product of premarital sex. At its core, the book is about psychological pain, for both mother and child. This pain and confusion lasts for a lifetime.

I grew up with sex education, had access to reproductive planning clinics, and went to a high school that had a day care center on site. Modern women take our choices for granted--the choice to use birth control, the choice to keep a child as an unmarried mother, the choice to have an open, structured adoption, the choice to have a closed adoption, and the choice for safe, legal abortion. This was an eye-opening examination of choices (or lack thereof) over the last fifty years.

Fessler has no agenda other than educating the reader about the hidden histories of these shamed, embarrassed unwed mothers. Chapters focus on specific issues such as birth control education, the social stigma of unmarried pregnancy, double standards for men and women, houses that women were shipped off to, the adoption agencies and processes, and the aftermath of adoption. She uses personal narratives to flesh out her history book, but Fessler does not edit the histories to make any specific political point. Her subjects had widely varying experiences and reactions, all of which are captured herein.
80 von 84 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Moving, Stunning, Must Read 22. Juni 2006
Von Linda - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In Lois Lowry's young adult science fiction book The Giver, a young girl hopes to receive a birthmother assignment. Her mother's sharp response was, "Lily!...Don't say that. There's very little honor in that Assignment. The birthmothers never even get to see the new children."

Very little honor indeed. I've been a member of the birthmother sisterhood for 30 years. I relinquished my daughter to adoption in 1976, three years after Roe v. Wade. Thankfully I wasn't forced to go away, had a strong say in my decision, and was spared much of the guilt and shame expressed by the courageous, selfless women featured in The Girls Who Went Away. In fact, I received a lot of negative criticism for choosing to have my child. I heard "why didn't you just get rid of it" from "friends" and acquaintances and even the nurse who was in the room when I awoke from the anesthesia. Just try to imagine delivering a baby with no one holding your hand or soothing your brow. There are simply no words for what has to be one of the loneliest, most tragic human experiences. Regardless of the paths traveled by young women faced with a crisis pregnancy, the results are all the same: their lives are dramatically, permanently altered and they all share the same harsh reality--they're childless mothers.

Why revisit such a painful, tragic part of my history? Why let myself get a lump in my throat after reading a few pages? Because I owe it to these women who, some for the very first time, had the courage to speak out and reveal the inhumane treatment they experienced during what should have been the most wonderful moment in their lives. Their stories deserve to be heard, need to be heard. Those unfamiliar with this embarrassing moment of our country's history will be stunned by the punishments that hardly fit the "crimes" of these incredible, tenacious women. In one of my favorite passages,

Yvonne discusses how her whole life has been based on shame: "You hear about people's lives being touched by adoption. It's no damn touch. I mean, that just drives me nuts. You're smashed by adoption. I mean, it alters the mothers' lives forever." I have used the phrase "touched by adoption" regularly over the years, but Yvonne's description is far more accurate. Everyone facing a crisis pregnancy--the ill-prepared mother and father, their parents, siblings, and beyond--are smashed to pieces from the fallout of adoption.

Read it slowly, carefully. The Girls Who Went Away should be required reading for every high school and college student; I'm certain it would help young adults be more thoughtful and mindful about sex. More importantly, The Girls Who Went Away should be read by every single person who is considering creating a family by adoption. While adoption has mercifully become kinder and gentler over the past 25 years or so, it's still not an ideal institution, there's still a great deal of work to be done. It's time of all of us to get our heads out of the sand and work together. Whatever side of the right to life/pro choice fence you sit on, I'm sure you'll rethink your position after meeting the wonderful women of The Girls Who Went Away.

Ann Fessler deserves all the great reviews and high praise she's received for raising awareness and shedding light on this controversial subject; indeed, I hope she's recognized with several awards. Should the reader be interested in futher enlightenment, the movie The Magdalene Sisters is highly recommended.
49 von 51 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Heartbreaking and fascinating 1. Juli 2007
Von LifeboatB - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
If you're interested in social history, "The Girls Who Went Away" makes for a fascinating read. Ann Fessler interviewed dozens of women who were sent to homes for "unwed mothers" between the 1945 and 1973. The tales the women tale are harrowing and extremely human. Interspersed with the interviews are Fessler's essays about society at the time, and how the post-war situation affected the average family. The book overturned several assumptions I had always made about life in that time period, e.g., that not many teens were sexually active. The shame of sexuality at the time, and the ridiculous lack of information teenagers were given about their own bodies, created a climate in which thousands of girls became pregnant and were forced to hide out from the world, until they could give birth, relinquish the baby, and return to "normal" teen life. Unfortunately, the reality wasn't so simple. The devastating emotional impact of bringing a pregnancy to term, and then having to give up the child, often without so much as seeing it, haunted these women for the rest of their days. The intense secrecy that surrounded the issue only made things worse. It's impossible to read the book without feeling sympathy for these young women, who were given so little control over their own lives. Although the book doesn't answer every question about adoption, or about how to deal with the problem of teen pregnancy, it's a valuable work that makes a big contribution to our understanding of motherhood. Hopefully psychologists, educators and legislators will learn some lessons from it.
23 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Gone but not forgotten 27. September 2007
Von William S. Grigsby - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I got this for a family member who was/is one of the 'Girls Who Went Away'. Turned out that my younger brother had already sent her a copy. She rated it 5 stars as an accurate depiction of the subject in that era (I remember her going passing through the extremities of the family structure on her way to a Salvation Army home).

Read this if you don't understand why reproductive freedom is so important.
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