Intimate Wars

The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Boardroom
Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Boardroom. Feminist Pr., dist. by Consortium. Jan. 2012. 336p. photogs. bibliog. ISBN 9781558617513. pap. $18.95. AUTOBIOG
Activist Hoffman (publisher, has played a significant role on the front lines, making abortion and basic health care accessible to women in the United States. A chance job with a doctor who worked to set up one of the first legal abortion clinics in New York City introduced Hoffman to abortion services; she eventually became the executive director of the clinic (and the wife of the internist). The creation of the National Abortion Federation in 1977 provided her a national stage for advocacy; she later also undertook international work. The success of the first clinic generated resources that allowed Hoffman to open a larger facility in 1978 that served some 500 patients a week. She writes how the backlash of the 1980s and the violence and intimidation practiced by anti-abortion activists took its toll, but she maintained the clinic in the face of incessant harassment and continued to be a prominent advocate. Finally, at almost sixty, widowed, Hoffman fulfilled her desire to have a daughter; she writes of the process of adopting a three-year-old girl from Russia.
VERDICT Deeply personal, this title will appeal to readers interested in women's memoirs, the history of U.S. feminism, and abortion rights.
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