Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born
by Tina Cassidy
I just finished this book, and I was disappointed to recognize many sections of it from another book that I am currently reading, Milk, Money, and Madness. I donâ€™t think the author exactly plagiarized, but its pretty close. For example, Cassidy says in Birth
At Dublin Foundling Hospital, of ten thousand hand-fed infants between 1775 and 1796, only forty-five survived infancy, an astounding mortality rate of 99.6 percent.
In Milk, Money, and Madness, it reads
At the Dublin Foundling Asylum during 1775-96, where dry nursing was in vogue, only 45 children survived out of 10,272-a horrendous 99.6% mortality rate.
Just a few paragraphs later Cassidy says
The ignorance and confusion surrounding bottle preparation spurred Nathan Straus, owner of Macyâ€™s department store in New York, to give away pasteurized milk to poor children at philanthropic â€œstations,â€ a concept that had also taken hold in Europeâ€¦
Milk, Money, and Madness says
Milk stations were soon all the fashion. At the turn of the century, â€œmilk depotsâ€ were established in France, Britain, and the United Statesâ€¦ In New York, Nathan Strauss of Macyâ€™s, working through health department clinics, organized milk stations where pasteurized, bottled milk was provided free for the needy and at low cost to others.
You get my point. I saw dozens of these kinds of passages, which was a real turn-off. Milk, Money, and Madness came out 11 years earlier, and apparently used fantastic sources since Cassidy lifted passages like the ones above.
My other complaint is that Cassidy swings back and forth throughout the text. First she talks about how its a miracle that any of us can survive childbirth and that weâ€™ll soon all need C-sections because our kids keep getting bigger and bigger. Then she talks about how doctors are killing us all and homebirths with midwives are safer. Then she says sheâ€™d never homebirth.
Iâ€™m very glad that I read this after my latest pregnancy. Cassidy admits that she doesnâ€™t trust her body, and it is evident in the text. I wouldnâ€™t recommend this book to a pregnant woman.
Cassidy has some really cool pictures in here though. The chapter on C-sections was horrifying, but really interesting at the same time. I feel so many mixed emotions about this book. Iâ€™m glad that I read it, but I wonder if the sections that I liked couldâ€™ve been found in other books.
I agree with you. This book would not be one I recomend, especially to someone who is not already well informed. I didn’t realize that some of the sections were so close to Milk, Money and Madness becasue it has been a while scince I read that book, though I did have a “I’ve heard all this before” feeling several times while reading. Thanks for pointing it out.