Fragmentary History of Reproductive Health
by A. Banerjee , , pp.,
October 2006, volume 30, No 10

The book under review is an outcome of a conference on “ Population, Birth Control and Reproductive Health in Late Colonial India”, held at the Centre for the History and Culture of Medicine, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. It is also one in the series of New Perspectives in South Asian History. This academic book under review is topical at the beginning of the 21st century when politics and controversies continue to shape and redefine notions of reproduction and reproductive health in the context of women’s lives in changing societies. The volume — for its title – will certainly draw the attention of a wide range of scholars engaged in not only social science inquiries in the history of medicine but also public health, women’s right to health among other areas of interest. The extent to which it fulfills their expectations, however, will be told by concerned readers in time. Edited by Sara Hodges, the volume presents a collection of essays from eight established scholars reflecting on the history, politics and controversies of ‘reproductive health’ in India. The introduction ‘Towards a History of Reproduction’ offers a canvas for display of the individual essays. The essays cover almost a century spanning broadly between 1850 and 1950.

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