Sunday, September 24, 2017

History Of My Life, Giacomo Casanova, Introduction By John Julius Norwich; Everyman's Library

c. 2007 (most recent)

Introduction: ix - xxiii (9 - 23)
Chronology: xxiv - lxvii (24 - 67)
Eleven volumes: 1 -1172
Textual Note: 1173 - 1185
Notes: 1186 - 1402
Index: 1403 - 1429

Author's life, some high points

1725 - 1798 (75 years of one of the most important centuries in US / European history)

1734 - 1737, 9 years old - 12 years old: Padua; to be tutored for career in church; coming of age; falls in love with daughter of teacher; schooled in sex

1737, 12 years old; enrolled at Padua University; studies civil and canon law

1739, 14 years old -- moves to Venice where he lives "largely"

1741, 16 years old -- become an abate; graduates from Padua University

1742, 17 years old -- abandons idea of a life in the church

1743, 18 years old -- busy, busy year; imprisoned; travels to Rome via Naples; affair

1744, 19 years old -- again "expelled" by the church; sent to Constantinople at his own request

1745, 20 years old -- acquires a taste for gambling; loses all his money

1748, 23 years old -- back in Venice; sexual behavior noted by church; again, expelled from Venice

1749, 24 years old -- ends up in Geneva; falls in love with "the love of his life"

1750 - 1752, 25 - 27 years old -- first trip to Paris

1752, 27 years old -- to Dresden

1753, 28 years old -- first play well received; travels Europe, Prague, Vienna, and then back to Venice

1755, 30 years old -- imprisoned

1756, 31 years old -- escapes prison; flees Venice; lives on that story for five years

1757, 32 years old -- second time back to Paris; establishes a state lottery and makes his fortune

1758, 33 years old -- secret mission to Holland on behalf of France to see bonds

1759, 34 years old -- back in Paris; meets Rosseau (unimpressed with Rosseau); departs for Amsterdam

1760, 35 years old -- travels Europe; meets Voltaire

1761, 36 years old -- to Naples

1762, 37 years old -- assists a transgender operation

1763, 38 years old -- Milan, Marseilles, Paris, and then London (probably hoping to set up another state lottery); fleeced by a prostitute; never rich again from this period on

1764, 39 years old -- destitute, leaves England forever

1765, 40 years old -- two audiences with Catherine the Great

1767, 42 years old -- back to Vienna; breaks gambling laws; expelled from the city

1768, 42 years old -- to Madrid

1769, 43 years old -- to France again

1770, 44 years old -- travels Europe again; meets Bonnie Prince Charlie

1771, 45 years old -- admitted to two famous literary Academies; goes to Florence; resolves to change life; fails; expelled from city

1772, 46 years old -- Bologna; works on his translation of the Iliad

I will stop here for now. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Bram Stoker
Barnes and Noble Classics
c. 2003

Jonathan Harker: new solicitor having just passed the bar; sent to County Dracula by his employer, Mr Hawkins
Mina: Harker's fiance
Count Dracula: looking for a place to buy in England; says Mr Hawkins is his friend

From Dracula, new words and comments

Chapter I
  • diligence: a stagecoach used in France and England during the 1700s and 1800s
  • St George's eve: from wiki, St George's Day was a major feast and national holiday in England on a par with Christmas from the early 15th century; April 23, May 6, a moveable feast; at the time considered the most dangerous night of the year; folks were terrified of vampires on this night; vampires most active on eves of St George's Day and St Andrews' Day; vampires and wolves
  • leiter-wagon: a peasant wagon
  • cal├Ęche: drawn by one horse; for two passengers, with driver on own seat on/above the splash board
Chapter II
  • traps: luggage
  • Victorian England: one dined in the afternoon; supped in the evening (explains why Linda made a big deal about dinner at noon; and supper in the evening)
  • Carfax: the name of the estate that Hawkins had found for Count Dracula
  • Kodak: mentions this in passing; does not call it a camera; simply a "Kodak"
Chapter III
  • mentions the Vikings and the Berserkers
  • culverin: a kind of handgun of the 15th and 16th centuries; later, a long cannon
  • half-mothered child:
Chapter IV
  • basilisk: mythic reptile that was said to be able to kill with a single glance
  • devils of the Pit: Satan thrown in to a bottomless pit, Book of Revelation
Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII 
  • the storm; the ship of interest makes it safely to harbor
  • East Cliff, the new searchlight was ready for experiment but had not yet been tried
  • silver sand: fine white sand
  • a nine-day's wonder: something that is of interest for a very short period
Chapter VIII

Monday, September 18, 2017

How The Hippies Saved Physics, David Kaiser, c. 2011

How The Hippies Saved Physics:
Science, Counterculture, and The Quantum Revival
David Kaiser
c. 2011 
DDS: 530.092KAI

See also this post:

Back in 2002, Physics World ranked "science's 10 most beautiful experiments." The list with commentary was featured in The New York Times on September 24, 2002, fifteen years ago.

Here's the list in reverse order, #10 first, going all the way to #1, posted last.
  • Foucault's pendulum, proved that the earth revolved on its axis; 1851: ranked #10
  • Rutherford's discovery of the nucleus, 1911: ranked #9
  • Galileo's experiments with rolling balls down inclined planes, lat 1500s: ranked #8
  • Eratosthenes' measurement of the Earth's circumference, 3rd century BC: ranked #7
  • Cavendish's torsion-bar experiment, determined the gravitational constant, and the weight of the earth, late 1700s: ranked #6
  • Young's light-interference experiment; questioned the theory that light consisted exclusively of particles rather than light, 1803: ranked #5 
  • Newton's decomposition of sunlight with a prism, 1666: ranked $4
  • Millikan's oil-drop experiment; confirmed the existence of the electron and determined its charge, 1909: ranked #3 
  • Galileo's experiment on falling objects, late 1500s: ranked #2
  • Young's double-slit experiment applied to the interference of single electrons, wave-particle duality; a thought experiment until actually carried out in 1961: ranked #1
  • the Cold War nexus of institutions collapsed, other modes of being a physicist crept back in
  • a ragtag crew of young physicists banded together
  • Elizabeth Rauscher and George Weissmann, both graduate students in Berkeley, CA
  • founded an informal discussion group, May 1975
  • Friday afternoons at 4:00 p.m.
  • the two students had ties to the Theoretical Physics Division of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
  • the "Fundamental Fysiks Group"
  • they cultivated a new set of generous patrons, ranging from the Central Intelligence Agency to self-made entrepreneurs like Werner Erhard, guru of the fast-expanding "human potential movement"
  • the Fundamental Fysiks Group cared bout new institutional niches in which to pursue their big-picture discussions
  • most important became the Esalen Institute of Big Sur, CA
  • Fred Coppola, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey
  • Jack Sarfatti -- and this may be the individual that this book focuses on
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • the city's bohemian North Beach
  • eminent philosopher Sir Karl Popper
  • "how do scientists draw boundaries between legitimate science and something else?" -- Popper
  • "hippie": a few journalists in San Francisco and New York City coined the term "hippie" in the mid-1960s -- to describe the rising youth culture that was mutating beyond the "hipsters" fo the 1950s Beat generation
  • left-leaning hippie movement; "New Left"; Students for a Democratic Society; the Weather Underground
  • LSD, CIA, Kesey
  • New Age, UFOs
  • the group of hippies who formed the Fundamental Fysiks Group saves physics in three ways
  • first: concerned style or method; free-wheeling speculation ala Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, and Schrodinger
  • second: latched unto "Bell's Theorem" and rescued it from a decade of unrelenting obscurity
  • third: concerted push on Bell's Theorem and quantum entanglement instigated major breakthroughs -- the third way they saved physics: the most important breakthrough: the "no-cloning theorem" -- a new insight into quantum theory that merged from spirited efforts to wrestle with hypothetical machines dreamed up by members of the group; the theorem: it is impossible to produce perfect copies (or "clones") of an unknown or arbitrary quantum state
Chapter 1
"Shut Up and Calculate"
  • history of physics
Chapter 2
"Spooky Actions at a Distance"
  • more history
  • starts with a quote from John S Bell, 1964
Chapter 3
  • now the real story begins with the Fundamental Fysiks Group
  • opens with a quote from George Weissmann, 2008
  • John Clauser
  • much, much more
Chapter 4
From [wave function] to Psi
  • opens with a quote from John Sarfatti, 1974
  • again, a lot about Uri Geller -- were they all taken in by the scam that even Johnny Carson saw through?
Chapter 5
New Patrons, New Forums
  • funding from CIA, DOD
Chapter 6
Spreading (and Selling) The Word
  • Esalen's hot tubs
Chapter 7
Zen and the Art of Textbook Publishing
  • catalyzed by Ira Einhorn and his contacts at major publishing firms, helped launch a new type of popular book in the 1970s: accessible books that compared striking features of modern physics, such as Bell's theorem and nonlocality, with staples of the counterculture and New Age revivals, from parapsychology to eastern mysticism
  • [Steve Jobs: b. 1955; almost exactly my contemporary; in the 1970s, in the Berkeley area, he would have been 18 to 22 years old -- right in the middle of all this.]
Chapter 8
  • Sarfatti's dramatic break with Weerner Erhard and est in the summer of 1977
Chapter 9
From FLASH to Quantum Encryption
  • would it be possible to send signals faster than light?
  • RSA
  • Flash
Chapter 10
The Roads from Berkeley
  • after meeting every week for nearly four years, the Fundamental Fysiks Group disbanded early in 1979
  • both Elizabeth Rauscher and George Weissmann, the group's co-founders, had completed their dissertations and were no longer available to manage the group's logisitcs
  • Henry Stapp tried to keep it going; did not have enough time
  • A. Lawrence ("Lawry") Chickering, graduate of Yale Law School; had worked for the conservative magazine National Review; returned to CA to work for Governor Ronald Reagan
  • near the end of Reagan's term, Chickering founded a new political think tank in San Francisco, the Institute for Contemporary Studies, and convinced such leading conservatives as Edwin Meese and Caspar Weinberger to join the Institute's board
  • Chickering quickly became known as the intellectual leader of the "New Age Right"
  • personal responsibility
  • Sarfatti's swing from political left to political right
  • other members of the group discussed; where they ended up

Monday, September 11, 2017

Greene & Greene: Masterworks

Greene & Greene: Masterworks
Bruce Smith and Alexander Vertikoff
c. 1998

The Charles Green House, Pasadena
  • 1901 
  • he called it Oakholm
  • "home of the week" -- LA Times -- August 7, 2005
  • the first of 11 Greene and Greene homes to be built in the Park Place Tract, which has the greatest concentration of the brothers' work in any neighborhood. The Gamble House, the James Culbertson House and the Duncan-Irwin House are among nearby Greene and Greene properties.
  • Pasadena, near the arroyo 
The Culbertson House
  • 1902
  • on the edge of the arroyo
  • Culbertson: one of the wealthy outsiders, an investor in Michigan lumber who wintered in Pasadena
The Darling House
  • for Mary Reeve Darling
  • Claremont, CA
  • first commission outside of Pasadena
The Camp House
  • 1904
  • for Edgar Camp, a prominent lawyer in the midwest
  • Grandview Avenue, Sierra Madre, a neighbor of Pasadena
The Reeve House
  • 1904
  • for Jennie A. Reeve, a relative of Mary Darling's
  • only the second commission outside Pasadena
  • booming seaside resort of Long Beach
The Robinson House
  • 1905
  • for lawyer-financier Henry Robinson, a close friend of Herbert Hoover's
  • a member of the "banker's pool" that financed the 1920s boom in Los Angeles
  • Greene was carrying out alterations to the home of Robinson's mentor, the millionaire David Tod Ford when it was asked to build next door for the Robinsons
  • looks over the Arroyo Seco
The Garfield House
The Brandt-Serrurier House
  • 1905
  • Altadena
  • for A. C. Brandt, a respected local contractor who had already worked on several Greene houses including the home they designed the previous year for Lucretia Garfield, the widow of the assassinated president
  • Brandt did not move into the house; he immediately sold it to a wealthy Dutchman, Iwan Serrurier, the latter already familiar with the Greenes' work having hired them to design another house as a speculative venture
  • the house was later moved across the stree
The Bentz House
  • 1906
  • for John Bentz, a wealthy small business owner
  • Pasadena
The DeForest House
  • 1906
  • for Caroline DeForest
  • lived there for only a short time before selling it to two sisters, Isabell Tabor and Agnes Tabor Vanderkloot
  • 75 years later, 1986, heirs sold it
The Bolton House
  • 1906
  • Dr William and Alice Bolton; asked Greenes to design another house for them
  • their earlier home was built in 1899
  • new home to be on the shoulder of a slight hill overlooking Pasadena's city center
  • Dr Bolton died suddenly; before the house was completed
  • Alice rented out the house to Belle Barlow Bush
  • sold in 1917 to James Culbertson's sisters, Cordelia, Kate, and Margaret, who had decided to move from their 1911 Greene and Greene home, a house twice the size
  • new owners in the 1950s
  • scheduled for demolition; saved when the City of Pasadena and the Pasadena Historical Society took an eleventh-hour stand
The Duncan-Irwin House
  • original date not stated
  • begins deep in the canyon that runs next to it
  • Katherine Duncan probably had it moved to the site overlooking the arroyo about 1901
  • 1906, new owern, Theodore Irwin
The Van Rossem-Neill House
  • 1903
  • young, well-to-do widow Josephine van Rossem commissioned the house as an investment property
  • not far from Arroyo Terrace in Pasadena
  • 1906, James Neill bought the house
The Blacker House
  • 1907
  • built for a wealthy lumber baron's family in Pasadena
  • first of what the scholar Randell Makinson has called Greene and Greene's "ultimate bungalows"
  • by 1947 both Robert and Nellie Blacker were gone
  • a multimillionaire from Texas bought it for $12 million and started to remove the interior before the city of Pasadena stopped any more desecration and new owners renewed it/restored it to original house
The Ranney House
  • 1907
  • set back from the street on the corner of Pasadena's busy Orange Grove Boulevard and the quieter Arroyo Terrace
  • Mary Ranney's house: the last of the cluster of Greene and Greene houses built in the Park Place Tract
  • the area later dubbed Little Switzerland
  • a suggestion of old Swiss, but also an intimation of Japan
  • the client was a college-educated woman who had recently moved to Pasadena from Chicago with her parents and started working for the Greenes
  • her name on two Greene and Greene homes; unprecedented (p. 138)
The Gamble House
  • 1908
  • the last of a number of homes in a small Pasadena neighborhood
  • each house was individually -- uniquely -- designed for its owner
  • the Gamble House was the last
  • for the Cincinnati Gambles of the Procter and Gamble Company
  • the only Greene and green house now open as a museum
  • Mary, David, and two sons
The Spinks House
  • 1909
  • built by Henry when his older brother Charles went to England for seven months -- rest and relaxation
  • similar to the nearby Crow-Crocker House built during the same period
  • constructed on pasture land just two years after and a short walk down the street from teh Blacker House, the home for Margaret B. S. Clapham Spinks and the retired judge William Ward Spinks who had just moved from Victoria, Canada
The Pratt House
  • 1909
  • Ojai
  • another Greene ultimate bungalow
  • Charles Pratt was a wealthy New Yorker who was one of the founders of Standard Oil and a half owner of the nearby Foothills Hotel
  • called his house Casa Barranca and used it for wintering in Califroina
  • his wife, Mary, was the Vassar classmate of Caroline Thorsen and her sister, Nellie Blacker
The Thorsen House
  • 1909
  • now a restaurant?
  • panoramic sweep of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge
  • for William Thorsen, his father, a sea captain; who had left Norway at age 14 to sail as a cabin boy
  • Thorsen  himself, a lumber baron, as his father had become; and his wife, Caroline
  • Caroline, a daughter of one of the great lumbermen of Michigan
  • for his second house in California, he turned to the Pasadena architects who had designed a home for his wife's sister, Nellie Blacker, and her lumber-baron husband, Robert Blacker
  • the Thorsens lived there until their deat in 1942
  • stone's throw from the University of California; furniture sold off
  • bought by the Sigma Phi fraternity
  • the fraternity has spearheaded a restoration and preservation campaign
  • 1996: Sigma Phi and the Gamble House sponsored an exhibition that for the first time in more than a half century reunited the Greene and Greene-designed furniture with the house
The Anthony House
  • 1909
  • on Wilshire Boulevard
  • by 1923 in danger of being torn down
  • silent flm star Norman Kerry stepped into purchase it and had Henry Greene supervise a move to a quieter location in Beverly Hills
  • Earle Anthony, the original owner, was a Packard dealer who later had dealerships in northern and southern California as well as several radio stations
The Culbertson Sisters House
  • 1917
  • the house for the three Culbertson sisters was too difficult for them to maintain; they had moved in in 1911, but sold it in 1917
  • the new owner of the house was Mrs Dudley Allen; she was so impressed with the house, she went up to Carmel, CA, to see the Greenes about another house
  • this was to be the last of the large commissions for the Greenes 
  • it is not easily recognizable as a Greene house
  • unlike the Blacker House across the street, the exterior is not redwood timbering and shingle with clinker brick and cobblestone, it was constructed of earth-toned Gunite, a stuccolike concret material applied with a pressure gun; the roof is of Ludowici-Celadon porcelain tiles glazed in variations of green with the occasioanl dash of burnt red
The Fleishhackler House
  • 1911
  • for Mortimer and Bella Fleishhackler; he, a paper company executive
  • looking to build in Woodside, south of San Francisco
The Ware House
  • 1913
  • Pasadena
  • one of only two houses the Greenes designed in 1913
  • the company would last another decade but the brothers were growing apart; Charles wanted to be a writer; and Henry was left to run the office
  • what work emerged, was mostly Henry's 
  • for Henry Ware, from Winettka, IL
  • to Pasadena for health reasons
  • the Greene's Phillips house built in 1906 was right across the street
  • it recalled James Culbertson's home from 1902
The Ladd House
  • 1913
  • Ojai
  • Charles was working on the Fleishhacker House in Ojai
  • Henry left in charge of the Ladd House, just like he was alone with the Ware House
  • the Ware House recalled what they had known in Boston, but the Ladd House returned to their rustic motif
The James House
  • 1916 Charles Greene moves to Carmel where he spends the rest of his life
  • did more work there than just this one house, but this would be his masterpiece
  • patron, D. L. James, an aspiring playwright; wealthy merchant of fine imported china, glass, silver; lived in Kansas City and only came out to Carmel in the summer; both he and Charles Greene wanted an isolated, bohemian getaway
  • it looks like a Mary Colter abode; it is incredible
The Charles Greene Studio
  • Charles moves to Carmel in 1916
  • rents until 1920 when he has own, new, little redwood house
  • 1923, Greene and Greene dissolved; at age 54 moves into his own studio

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Birth Of The Pill

The Birth of the Pill: 
How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution
Jonathan Eig 
c. 2014, 

Preface to the book:
Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) --
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
-- Philip Larkin,
"Annus Mirabilis"
For me, sexual intercourse began a decade later than for Philip Larkin. By then "the pill" was ubiquitous. It was only later after practicing medicine for more than almost twenty years did I really understand the medical issues associated with the pill.

It would not necessarily have been an easy choice for young women to start taking "the pill" in the late 60s or the 70s.

I only knew a few details about the first "love of my life." Our whirlwind courtship was very, very short; and ended too quickly. We parted but I never forgot her. It was our relationship that brought home in very real and very personal terms the meaning of "unrequited love." I will take that "unrequited love" to my grave. She died some years ago, in her prime, of a rare heart disease, complications of a heart transplant. We never got in touch after we departed.

Harry Chapin in "Taxi" tells our story, except her path and my path never crossed again.

So, now in the autumn of my life, to coin a phrase, I try to piece together her biography, something Virginia Woolf might do  (think Mrs Dalloway).

She was a feminist at the time the feminist movement was at its peak. She asked me to read Open Marriage. We discussed monogamy and faithfulness but also independent lives even after marriage. Those "things" converged and all of a sudden I find myself in my "Margaret Sanger phase" and would love to have someone to talk to about her story/life.

It was in my "Margaret Sanger phase" that I stumbled upon Jonathan Eig's book. Reading some of it suggests it will help me put together a biography of the first "love of my life."

Another example of this biography involves the Broadway play Hamilton. While watching a documentary of the play, I learn that the Burr-Hamilton duel was on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River just opposite 42nd Street, NYC.

Looking at the map, I see there is now a Hamilton Park in that area. It is but a 30-minute drive from where the first "love of my life" grew up. I can only assume her father took the family there at least once on some weekend holiday. If not, it certainly becomes part of the make-believe biography I am writing.

Notes from the Jonathan Eig book will help me better understand that short but tumultuous time of our lives.

One: A Winter Night

I'm in "my Margaret Sanger phase," and there she is, at the very beginning of the book. The first person named: Margaret Sanger: "She was an old woman who loved sex and she had spent forty years seeking a way to make it better." Born, 1879; died, 1966. In 1950 she would have been 71 years old.

In 1950, her last hope; at age 71 to meet Gregory Goodwin Pincus.

She: one of the legendary crusaders of the 20th century.
He: a scientist with a genius IQ and a dubious reputation; 47 years old.

1949: Hugh Hefner, a graduate student in sociology at Northwestern University, read Kinsey's report (1948) and wrote a term paper arguing for an end to the repression of sex and sexuality in America. Wow.

Two: A Short History of Sex

Three: Spontaneous Ovulations

Four: A Go-to-Hell Look

Five: Love and Fighter

Six: Rabbit Tests

Seven: "I'm a Sexologist"

Eight: The Socialite and the Sex Maniac

Nine: A Shotgun Question

Ten: Rock's Rebound

Eleven: What Makes a Rooster Crow?

Twelve: A Test in Disguise

Thirteen: Cabeza de Negro

Fourteen: The Road to Shrewsbury

Fifteen: "Weary & Depressed"

Sixteen: The Trouble With Women

Seventeen: A San Juan Weekend

Eighteen: The Women of the Asylum

Nineteen: John Rock's Hard Place

Twenty: As Easy As Aspirin

Twenty-One: A Deadline to Meet

Twenty-Two: "The Miracle Tablet Maybe"

Twenty-Three: Hope to the Hopeless

Twenty-Four: Trials

Twenty-Five: "Papa Pincus's Pink Pills for Planned Parenthood"

Twenty-Six: Jack Searle's Big Bet

Twenty-Seven: The Birth of the Pill

Twenty-Eight: "Believed to Have Magical Powers"

Twenty-Nine: The Double Effect

Thirty: La Senora de las Pastillas

Thirty-One: An Unlikely Pitch Man

Thirty-Two: "A Whole New Bag of Beans"

Thirty-Three: Climax


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger: A Life Of Passion
Jean H. Baker
c. 2011
DDS: 363.9BAK

Chapter 1: Maggie Higgins: Daughter of Corning
  • US Civil War
  • Corning glassworks
  • Erie Canal
  • Maggie Higgins: born 1879
  • family's relationship with their Catholic church
  • poor upbringing
  • Erie Railroad bridge that spanned the Chemung River
  • 1895, 16 years old, boarding school
  • failed to complete 8 grades by school, by two weeks
  • enrolled at the Claverack College and Hudson River Institute in 1895/96?
  • a coeducational boarding school near Hudson, NY
  • originally a girls' school; then coeducational; good regional reputation
  • family unable to finance her through graduation; she completed only three years; did not graduate
Chapter 2: Mrs William Sanger of Hastings-on-Hudson
  • 1899, mother dies; Maggie brought home to tend to her dying mother
  • 1900: enters nursing school at the White Plains Hospital outside NYC
  • her goal: medical school; Cornell University in nearby Ithaca, NY 
  • only 5% of US doctors female at that time
  • many male suitors, despite being poor and uneducated
  • new opportunity, coincidentally: nurses needed for the Spanish-American War, in the Philippines
  • nursing schools increased in the US
  • White Plains Hospital was one of the beneficiaries of this new phenomenon
  • tuberculosis scare
  • meets William Sanger, a handsome, freelance draftsman, an aspiring architect and artist; at a dance
  • six months later, abruptly married
  • no longer "Higgins"
  • nurses forbidden to marry and she was expelled from nursing school
  • again, did not graduate
  • five months later, pregnant
  • tuberculosis, national epidemic
  • in a TB sanatorium while pregnant
  • shortly after baby Stuart's birth, Maggie relapsed (TB)
  • second son, born 1908; defiantly pregnant again 13 months later; Margaret (Peggy - born 1910)
  • never pregnant again
  • obviously the couple employed some form of birth control
  • US declining birth rates: by 1900, typical American woman had 3.2 children compared to 7.4 one century earlier
  • doctors saw birth control not as an opportunity to improve women's health, but rather as a hazard threatening their professional practices
  • overwhelmingly, physicians opposed any form of artificial contraception
  • Harvard graduate, president Teddy Roosevelt spoke of "race suicide"
  • in 1910, tranquil life
  • she joined a literary club, reading papers on George Eliot and Robert Browning
Chapter 3: Comrade Sanger
  • 1910; William, 36; Maggie, 32 -- move to NYC
  • 1911 garment worker fire; locked doors; 146 die, mostly Jewish girls; owners not punished
  • activists, socialists, Socialist Party; movements including birth control
  • Comstock Laws
  • abortions
  • Sadie Sachs
  • marriage falling apart
  • family takes trip to Europe, all five, 1913; try to save marriage
  • three months later, Margaret and three children return to NYC (Greenwich Village); William (Bill) is left in Paris
Chapter 4: Creating Margaret Sanger
  • three months later, Margaret and three children return to NYC (Greenwich Village); William (Bill) is left in Paris
  • William, artist, Provincetown-inspired The Dunes
  • no money, but she intended to start a magazine
  • March, 1914, her first edition, The Woman Rebel
  • Bill still loved her; missed her; she had affairs
  • WWI begins
  • arrested; she became a fugitive -- did not show for her hearing; left the US, October, 1914
  • flees to England (first Liverpool, then London) via Canada under an assumed name
  • Bill, meanwhile, was back in NYC; he was arrested for having a copy of his wife's magazine; imprisoned for a short period
  • Maggie to the Netherlands during the height of WWI
  • romantic affair with a Spaniard in Spain
  • October, 1915, Maggie returns to NYC
  • Comstock died in 1915; had testified against Bill Sanger
Chapter 5: On Trial
  • Maggie, a fugitive overseas; Bill in NYC with the children; Peggy was farmed out; she came down with lethal pneumonia; died at 5 years of age four weeks after Maggie arrived back home in NYC
  • Peggy's death awoke feelings of mysticism in Sanger, a woman who had always credited her Celtic origins for her childhood premonitions and extraterrestrial visitations
  • Freud; levitating; seances; the number six; Peggy died on November 6
  • Sanger to stand trial
  • three days before case goes to court, the government drops the case; did not want to make her a martyr
  • in fact, national opinions were shifting, in her favor
  • rich had birth control (mostly expensive pessaries); poor did not
  • national speaking tour; 119 speeches in every major city in the US
  • standard speech: "Birth Control"
  • in 1916, upon return to NYC, wants to open a "free clinic"
  • Sanger's "competitor: Mary Ware Dennett -- former leader of the National American Woman Suffrage Association; established the National Birth Control League in 1915; activist in several areas
  • Dennett considered Sanger too extreme in her defiance of the law, while Sanger thought Dennett too slow
  • established first free clinic, downtrodden immigrant neighborhood of Brownsville, near the central shopping  area of Pitkin Street in Brooklyn; no physiican
  • arrested; Brownsville trials opening in 1917; in her late 30's, facing a jail sentence, but had time for an interlude of romance -- "during a life of many, even concurrent lovers, she discovered her answer to a personal question, rarely asked by most women of her generation. It involved the reasons for unrequited affection, which did not preclude sex ... 'chemical love' ... sex, for Sanger, was an essential part of love, but not all of love...
  • chronicled that in her diary
  • found guilty; but court said she could avoid jail by paying $5,000; she refused; went to jail for 30 days; Queens Penitentiary; now a birth control martyr
  • separation agreement signed by Sanger and husband; he was very, very much against
Chapter 6: The Birth Control Review
  • early 1917, Woodrow Wilson brings US into WWI
  • change in sexual mores; sex had changed in behavior as well as perception; what was once limited to Greenwich Village, now spread across the US
  • so upset with war, resigned from the Socialist Party -- felt that workers were going to war to protect capitalist bosses
  • WWI: enlistees needed contraception instruction
  • the battle against venereal disease
  • prostitutes set up camp near military bases; govt rounded them up; detention camps
  • new publication: The Birth Control Review
  • page 132
Chapter 7: Voyages
  • 1920: back to England; left US for seven months
  • left The Birth Control Review in the hands of Juliet Rublee
  • successful surgery to remove TB-tonsils; by 1922 she had conquered the Higgins legacy of TB
  • open marriage; English bohemians
  • Wantley Circle created not sexual triangles, but rather a revolving interlocking circle of intimacies
  • (Virginia Woolf in 1920s: 1882 - 1941, so VW, in her late 30's must have known about the Wantley Circle)
  • over time, sexual civility provied difficult, even for these believers in free love
  • H. G. Wells, not a member of the Wantley Circle, but a sexual voyager, welcomed Sanger in "the secret places of the heart" (the title of his 1922 novel).
  • page 167
  • page 179
  • marries J Noah Slee in the district of St Giles, Bloomsbury, London; marriage kept secret
  • an angry Bill Sanger learned of the marriage from Sanger's father in 1923 and Bill, himself, remarried two years later;
  • 20-year marriage, Sanger and Slee; she taught him all about romantic love (page 180)
  • Slee's wedding present: a $1 million home near Fishkill, on the Hudson, 70 miles from NYC
  • page 180
  • American Birth Control League (ABCL)
  • page 185
  • still wanted clinics; model -- the clinics in the Netherlands
  • her clinic opened January 1, 1923; female physician, Dr Dorothy Bocker
  • page 188
Chapter 8: Spreading The Word

Chapter 9: All Things Fade
  • November, 1935; in Bombay, India; 10-week visit
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • page 233
  • page 242
  • pessary trial; Comstock laws re-written; Sanger's associates were jubilant; the birth control movement enjoyed a sudden burst of favorable publicity, mostly focused on Margaret Sanger
  • page 242
  • page 243
  • James Joyce's Ulysses mentioned
  • One Package ruling
  • page 245
  • page 253
  • huge advances in the 1930s and 1940s
  • page 254
  • page 261
  • in the late 1930s' the world began to fall apart; the world traveler Sanger watched its destruction
  • page 263
  • July 1939: 80-year Havelock Ellis died; 
  • 1943: husband Slee suffered a stroke and died
  • 1943, sons Stuart and Grant overseas  in the medical corps; Stuart in the Normandy landing and the Battle of the Bulge; Grant on an aircraft carrier, and then a casualty ship in the Pacific
  • touched base with Bill Sanger who wanted to know where his sons were; he was fairly poor (page 265)
  • Christmas Day, 1945, the Sanger family reunited in Tucson, where Stuart intended to establish his practice and live next door to his mother
Chapter 10: World Leader
  • war over
  • for the next 15 years Sanger orchestrated the formation of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
  • her major initiative during the 1950s [Linda, a bit older than I would have been very aware of this, I suppose)
  • travels the world; her home in Tucson
  • summer of 1949: first of several heart attacks; in her 80s
  • 1950: another heart attack while on a fishing trip with Stuart and his family in the White Mountains in eastern Arizona; blood thinner dicumeraol with mood swing side effects
  • focused on her clinics in the southwest, stretching from El Paso to Phoenix
  • page 292, in the early 1950s
  • activist Sanger and philanthropist McCormick, neither with medical or scientific degrees, thought McCormick had majored in biology at MIT, pondered their choice (previous pages); scientists working on birth control
  • 1953, Sanger and McCormick decide: Gregory Pinkus, Worcester, MA -- progesterone studies
  • serendipitous findings: progesterone (having been used to help women become pregnant) also found to stop pregnancy (Dr John Rock -- page 293)
  • page 293 - 296: story of the pill
  • 1957: Searle filed for a license, this time for a contraceptive, based on a study of 897 women and 10,427 cycles of no ovulation; ENOVID
  • Sanger knew Enovid was less dangerous than pregnancy or abortion, still illegal
  • FDA delayed for moral reasons (for which they were not mandated; only safety was their concern -- after the thalidomide scandal simmering in Europe)
  • laer there would be complaints about the effects of the pill, but prior to this time no medicine in teh US had received such extensive field trials
  • 1959: Sanger attended her last IPPF conference; this time in New Delhi
Epilogue: Last Years
  • 1960: JFK
  • Sanger did not play any role in the crusade to make abortion legal -- page 302
  • 1972: Supreme Court -- Eisenstadt v Baird, the right to use birth control was guaranteed to the unmarried
  • by 1962, Sanger struggling against leukemia; mostly bedridden, confused, unable to care for herself;
  • nursing home outside Tucson
  • died, just before 87th birthday, September 6, 1966

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Books Currently On My Nightstand -- April 16, 2017

Age of Entanglement
American Bloomsbury
Beowulf - Tolkien
Birds - Beston
Birds, Raptors
Carthage Must Be Destroyed
Dante's Inferno
Ancestor's Tale - Dawkins
Discovery of Modern Earth
Dorian Gray  - Wilder
Duveen - biography
Edge of the World - Pye
Edmund Wilson - biography
Great Gatsby
Helen of Troy - Bettany Hughes
Ivory Vikings Chess
Going to the Lighthouse - Woolf
Memoirs of Hecate County
New History of Life
Ordinary Geniuses -- biography of Max Delbruck and George Gamow
Outermost House
Privileged Planet
Secondhand Time
Sex in the Sea
Spain in Our Hearts
Supreme City
The Paris Wife
This Side of Paradise
Travels - memoir - Gellhorn
Vital Question - Nick Lane
Witches - Schiff