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Adam and Eve After The Pill [Kindle Edition]

Mary Eberstadt
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Secular and religious thinkers agree: the sexual revolution is one of the most important milestones in human history. Perhaps nothing has changed life for so many, so fast, as the severing of sex and procreation. But what has been the result?

This ground-breaking book by noted essayist and author Mary Eberstadt contends that sexual freedom has paradoxically produced widespread discontent. Drawing on sociologists Pitirim Sorokin, Carle Zimmerman, and others; philosopher G.E.M. Anscombe and novelist Tom Wolfe; and a host of feminists, food writers, musicians, and other voices from across today's popular culture, Eberstadt makes her contrarian case with an impressive array of evidence. Her chapters range across academic disciplines and include supporting evidence from contemporary literature and music, women's studies, college memoirs, dietary guides, advertisements, television shows, and films.

Adam and Eve after the Pill examines as no book has before the seismic social changes caused by the sexual revolution. In examining human behavior in the post-liberation world, Eberstadt provocatively asks: Is food the new sex? Is pornography the new tobacco?  

Adam and Eve after the Pill will change the way readers view the paradoxical impact of the sexual revolution on ideas, morals, and humanity itself.

Product Description

About the Author

Mary Eberstadt is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, consulting editor to Policy Review, and contributing writer to First Things. Her articles have appeared in the Weekly Standard, the American Spectator, Commentary, the Los Angeles Times, the London Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Her previous books include The Loser Letters and Home-Alone America.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 402 KB
  • Print Length: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (9 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007IVT7NU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #507,156 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well Intended but Poorly Argued 2 Oct. 2013
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
Let me make one thing clear from the outset: I am extremely sympathetic to the idea that the sexual revolution has had some truly appalling consequences, and it is responsible for a lot of pain and suffering in the modern western world, especially among the weakest members of society. Furthermore, as a very devout Catholic I am fully committed to the ethical teachings of the Catholic Church on matters of sexual morality. So my fairly negative review below is coming from the point of view of a "fellow traveler" on these social and moral issues.

Without exaggerating too much I believe that the principle "argument" of this book can be summarized as follows:

1. Some time around 1960 easy and accessible effective birth control became widely accessible.

2. Today we have a lot of societal ills that are either sexual in nature or caused by various forms of sexual activity.

3. It is OBVIOUS that 1. has caused 2.

4. Therefore let me offer some of my own musings on this topic.

My biggest beef is with the point number 3, but both 2 and 4 have a lot of problems as well. First of all, if the causal connection between 1 and 2 was as exclusive and conclusive as the author implies, the obvious question would be why is this not more obvious to everyone. The author tries to address this issue by appealing to the analogy of the Cold War. During that period many intellectuals in the West (perhaps even a majority) were, if not quite communists themselves, then very sympathetic to the communist block.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The title of this book attracts attention and it is a sociological analysis of
the affects of the pill on society since its introduction 50 years ago.
It argues that the introduction of the pill and so-called permissive society
has not led to sexual liberty, but the opposite. It is quite thought provoking
and very well researched.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  62 reviews
97 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But a Few Things I Would Change or Add 15 Mar. 2012
By John G. Burford IV - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I want to start off by saying that I enjoyed this book. It is a shame that a book like this will mostly be read by "the choir": people who already agree with most or all of what the author is saying. Its prose is well-written and its message is important.

I think that my favorite parts of the book were the sections on how our moralities on food and sex have flip-flopped in the past 50 years and on how we view pornography in much the same way that people 50 years ago looked at tobacco. These commentaries were really quite excellent.

In short, the author shows how 50 years ago, food was just a matter of personal tastes and not a matter to get greatly morally concerned over. Nowadays things are quite different, with the explosion of rhetoric about vegetarianism, sustainability, organic foods, fair trade, ethical treatment of livestock, and so on.

Conversely, 50 years ago sexual practices perceived as immoral (divorce, abandonment of your spouse, STDs, homosexuality, out of wedlock pregnancies, pornography, etc.) were commonly and widely looked down upon. Now, those matters are viewed as matters of personal taste and moralizing about them is frowned upon, since they are really nobody's business but the individual person's.

I also enjoyed the comparison of pornography consumption today to tobacco consumption 50 years ago: frequent appeals to personal liberty, denial of science, a sense of resignation that things could ever change, and so on. Of course, things did end up changing, and they changed primarily by the American public's stigmatizing of the behavior.

I did have two criticisms/suggestions though. First, I wish that the author had done more to actually make the case that contraception is bad, pornography is bad, and so on. Usually the author would just make the claim and then footnote the studies. I think that in order to change the mind of anyone who disagreed with her thesis, she would do well by including some actual data in the book itself.

The second thing I wish the author would have done is talk more about where things are going, what the prospects of reform are, what suggestions she has for reformers, etc. I think that this would go well with the parts where she's linking tobacco consumption and pornography and where she's discussing the rise of social conservative groups on college campuses. I think that such a section would make a great last chapter, and I hope that if this book ends up getting a second edition, that that will be included.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Counting the cost of the sexual revolution 30 May 2012
By Bill Muehlenberg - Published on
It has been said that "To live without love is a tragedy; to live without sex is inconvenient." But in a sex obsessed culture which is also spiritually numb - if not dead - then the words of Malcolm Muggeridge ring even more true: "Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society."

In 1960 the contraceptive pill burst on the scene, and a few short years later the West experienced what is known as the Sexual Revolution. This revolution - like all significant revolutions - changed everything, and we are still reeling from its impact.

This book is about that impact. In meaty chapters Eberstadt looks at the devastating effects of the Sexual Revolution in general and the Pill in particular. "First, and contrary to conventional depiction, the sexual revolution has proved a disaster for many men and women; and second, its weight has fallen heaviest on the smallest and weakest shoulders in society - even as it has given extra strength to those already strongest and most predatory."

Her first chapter deals with the "will to disbelieve". Despite the fact that we now have mounds of research showing the damaging effects of the Sexual Revolution, the elites, the lefties, and the secularists are all living in denial. They simply refuse to believe anything is amiss in their sexual and social utopia.

Their panglossian take on things means they must deny reality and live in delusion. She offers an eerie and worrying parallel to the anti-anti-communism during the Cold War. Even though we had masses of evidence of communist tyranny, bloodshed, and barbarism, plenty of Western intellectuals refused to believe it.

So too our intellectualoids are living in denial about the high costs of the sexual revolution, which are amply documented in this volume. Contrary to the claims of the sexual libertarians, the "empirical record today on sex documents the overall benefits of marriage and monogamy, beginning with the married couples themselves"

This data has been accumulating for decades now, and Eberstadt offers a nice summary of this mass of evidence. Women and children have especially borne the heaviest brunt of the sexual revolution. They have endured the most damage and taken the most blows.

Women for example were supposed to be a major beneficiary of this revolution, but that is looking to be far from the case. They have actually gotten a pretty lousy deal here, which Eberstadt documents with plenty of social science and anecdotal evidence.

She concentrates on what women themselves are saying, including the feminists. Their voices are almost one in bemoaning their current fate, all of which has been brought about by accepting the rhetoric and empty promises of the Sexual Revolution.

The pornography plague is of course one major blight of this revolution. Sadly we have now become quite familiar with all the stats on this - they make for depressing reading indeed, but we must not forget what is really happening here.

Porn has simply killed sex - it has devalued it, debased it, demeaned it, and dehumanised it. And it has resulted in far too many men living lives of never-ending adolescence. The porn tsunami has led to "the perpetual and often successful hunt for sexual novelty [which] ultimately works to the detriment of longer-term romance."

Thus we have the paradox "of declining male happiness in an age glutted by sexual imagery". And this also means many men are losing their protective instincts - they have nothing left to protect. The replacement of procreative sex with recreative sex has led to both a marriage dearth and a birth dearth.

She draws parallels with the obesity epidemic: each is a "social problem increasing over time, with especially worrisome results among its youngest consumers, and one whose harms are only beginning to be studied with the seriousness they clearly deserve."

While the consumption of porn may be private, there are huge social consequences of it. And the humongous proportion of adolescents getting addicted to the stuff is a major social problem. These young people are more likely themselves to have sex, to have it earlier, and to engage in it more frequently.

And related to all this is the growing problem of "pedophilia chic". Eberstadt documents just how mainstream pedophilia is becoming. Our sexperts, our eggheads, and our elites are all going soft on this, and that means huge trouble. The sexual abuse of the young of course leaves real and lasting scars.

She looks at other major hunks of the fallout from the Sexual Revolution, such as the sexual shenanigans which have inundated our campuses, and the major collapse of marriage and family. And all these negative outcomes are of course simply getting worse.

Her last chapter looks at contraception and the 1968 Papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. It looked carefully at the issue of birth control and the possible ramifications of it. Eberstadt argues that it was a prophetic document, and everything it warned about has occurred big time.

Its specific predictions about what the world would look like with widespread use of artificial contraception seem spot on: "The encyclical warned of four resulting trends: a general lowering of moral standards throughout society; a rise in infidelity; a lessening of respect for women by men; and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments."

Yep, that is pretty much what we now find. And she reminds us that all churches and all denominations opposed contraception for the history of the church, until the Anglican Lambeth Conference in 1930. There the door was opened, and soon after the floodgates opened, at least in Protestant denominations.

She cites Protestant evangelical stalwart Albert Mohler here: "I cannot imagine any development in human history, after the Fall, that has had a greater impact on human beings than the Pill. . . . The entire horizon of the sex act changes. I think there can be no question that the Pill gave incredible license to everything from adultery and affairs to premarital sex and within marriage to a separation of the sex act and procreation."

The Sexual Revolution has been enormously costly. We need a rethink on it before it does any more damage. And this book is a very good place to begin with this re-evaluation.
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! This is a great read! 15 Mar. 2012
By A. Compton - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a great read- I finished it in 24 hours (and that's saying something for a mom of 3 little ones!) I am so glad that someone took the time to weave together all the empirical data that has come out in the past decade saying that that sex without consequences is a great thing for society. I was impressed by the variety of studies, essays, articles, and polls that she included in her research, as well as all the proper documentation so I can check out some of her sources. I will be recommending this book to pretty much everyone I know. Thank you for your hard work in putting together this book!
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible Analysis of the Post-Sexual Revolution West 27 Mar. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am by no means an academic and found this book to be a very accessible analysis of the state of the West after the sexual revolution. Eberstadt is persuasive in her arguments-- they are based on empirical evidence and are delivered with (sometimes painful) clarity. She unflinchingly examines very difficult topics, such as the effects of the sexual revolution on children and the predatory environment created on many college campuses. It covers contraception, abortion, and pornography as well, emphasizing the societal ills each has caused. "Adam and Eve After the Pill" includes many of the ideas presented in Eberstadt's articles from First Things and other publications, and it is nice to have those ideas collected into a complete book.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, easy to read book 20 April 2012
By Mr. Michael Doyle - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After I saw this book reviewed on the LifeSite News, I purchased it. I managed to read it in an afternoon. Somehow I expected it to be harder to read, but it was very easy to read - as in not too academic. From the point of view of the content matter, many people might find it harder to take - as their sacred cows are led to the abattoir. The book is an analysis of the consequences of the pill and the accompanying sexual revolution. It's an analysis that is not favorable to the pill, or those who are advocates of sexual liberation.

All said, I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it wholeheartedly.
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