Rothman, a sociologist at the City University of New York, is herself a wife and mother, and her third book, following In Labor and The Tentative Pregnancy , centers on how ``motherhood'' can be undermined by technology. Indicting scientific ``progress'' that can reduce women to machines bearing children for sale, she adds her opinion to the controversary surrounding ``Baby M'' and related issues. Rothman warns of the grave social problems already evinced by alternative methods of ``having'' babies, such as surrogacy, artificial conception, etc. Readers may quarrel with some of the author's convictions but they will agree with her argument that it's past time for women to restore motherhood to its proper status. (Jan.)
Rothman examines the impact of the new reproductive technologies on the institution of the family. Using the Baby M and Baby Doe cases as points of departure, she discusses the medical, legal, and ethical aspects of current medical advances. She notes with alarm the tendency to look at children as commodities and mothers as a means of production. Unlike other books dealing with this material, Rothman's goes beyond warnings of abuse by the male-dominated medical and legal professions and beyond the traditional feminist call for taking control from the oppressor. She offers practical suggestions for an enlightened social policy regarding parenthood, family structure, and childcare. A thoughtful, well-written analysis of contemporary issues for a wide audience. Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Rothman (sociology, CUNY) argues for a woman-centered class-sensitive way of understanding motherhood. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)