Title: Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story
Writer and Artist: Peter Bagge
|via Drawn & Quarterly
Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) opened the first birth control clinic in America. She was an outspoken international advocate for women's reproductive rights and many of the organizations she established eventually evolved into Planned Parenthood. While current public perception of that entity might lead one to expect otherwise, Sanger was firmly anti-abortion. Her mission was preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place, especially for women in poverty.
I will admit upfront that I'd never heard of Margaret Sanger before My Wife bought this book, a biography in graphic novel form. While I certainly found her to be an admirable person, I have issues with the comic book treatment of her life. For starters, the story moves too quickly, decades covered over the course of a few pages. There are extensive notes at the end of the book for those eager to learn more but 20 pages of footnotes for a 72-page story is bassackwards by my reckoning. Also, Bagge's artistic style is too caricature-esque for the serious subject matter. Comics can work for darker topics - Maus, Palestine, Louis Riel - but matching the style to the content is crucial, just as it is with any book.
My petty gripes aside, I do think it's a good book and well worth reading. Any frank discussion of responsible sex that's accessible for young readers is fine by me. While Bagge's book only scratches the surface of the issue, it does provide a meaningful introduction.
Please join us and share your own review of your best read from the past month. This month's link list is below. I'll keep it open until the end of the day. I'll post February's tomorrow. Meetings are the last Friday of each month. Next gathering is February 28th.