Emily's Reviews > Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank

Get Me Out by Randi Hutter Epstein
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's review
Jun 18, 2010

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bookshelves: 2010
Recommended for: men, and women who aren't planning a pregnancy anytime in the next decade.
Read from June 15 to 18, 2010

I learned that childbirth is scary. But it used to be scarier.

More accurately subtitled A History of Childbirth in the West (Mostly America), this book is no Bonk The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex or Virgin: The Untouched History. The early chapters are a barrage of facts from history with little elaboration, and I was particularly upset by the chapter describing Dr. J. Marion Sims's experiments on slave women, in which much time is devoted to discussing the many discomforts the women endured and the reactions of Society, but no time is spent on how Sims actually accomplished any of the vaginal fistula repairs or how the technique spread. Later chapters, where the author visits sperm banks and mall-front ultrasound photo stores, are thankfully more in-depth.

Epstein has a bizarre tendency to repeat herself, re-explaining things or straight-up duplicating facts that appeared in previous chapters, sometimes only a few pages earlier; this seems symptomatic of an overall rush editing job, as there are also many obvious grammatical errors.


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