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Reproduction by Design: Sex, Robots, Trees, and Test-tube Babies in Interwar Britain

Angus McLaren

4 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0226560694 / ISBN 13: 9780226560694
Published by The University of Chicago Press
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Reproduction by Design: Sex, Robots, Trees, ...

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

Modernity in interwar Europe frequently took the form of a preoccupation with mechanizing the natural; fears and fantasies revolved around the notion that the boundaries between people and machines were collapsing. Reproduction in particular became a battleground for those debating the merits of the modern world. That debate continues today, and to understand the history of our anxieties about modernity, we can have no better guide than Angus McLaren. In "Reproduction by Design", McLaren draws on novels, plays, science fiction, and films of the 1920s and '30s, as well as the work of biologists, psychiatrists, and sexologists, to reveal surprisingly early debates on many of the same questions that shape the conversation today: homosexuality, recreational sex, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, sex change operations, and in vitro fertilization. Here, McLaren brings together the experience and perception of modernity with sexuality, technology, and ecological concerns into a cogent discussion of science's place in reproduction in British and American cultural history.

Review:

"I know of no other work on interwar Britain, or even twentieth-century Britain that brings together modernity, sexuality, technology, and the environment in quite this way. The result is extremely compelling and successful. It is certain to attract a great deal of interest from both scholars and a wider audience."--Stephen Brooke, York University

Through his shrewdly original assembly of a dazzling kaleidoscope of 1920s and 1930s texts by both the famous Aldous Huxley, H.G. Wells, Dora Russell, Virginia Woolf and the lesser known, McLaren interconnects eugenics, conservation, birth control, mechanization, feminism, artificial insemination, and the ectopic in a deep interwar genealogy of the vexing reproductive dilemmas that accompanied erotic modernism. Sometimes melancholy and often hilarious, "Reproduction by Design" is an indispensably erudite "tour de force" for understanding modern British sexualities and culture. --Judith A. Allen, Indiana University, Bloomington"

I know of no other work on interwar Britain, or even twentieth-century Britain that brings together modernity, sexuality, technology, and the environment in quite this way. The result is extremely compelling and successful. It is certain to attract a great deal of interest from both scholars and a wider audience. --Stephen Brooke, York University"

"Through his shrewdly original assembly of a dazzling kaleidoscope of 1920s and 1930s texts by both the famous--Aldous Huxley, H.G. Wells, Dora Russell, Virginia Woolf-- and the lesser known, McLaren interconnects eugenics, conservation, birth control, mechanization, feminism, artificial insemination, and the "ectopic" in a deep interwar genealogy of the vexing reproductive dilemmas that accompanied erotic modernism. Sometimes melancholy and often hilarious, Reproduction by Design is an indispensably erudite tour de force for understanding modern British sexualities and culture."--Judith A. Allen, Indiana University, Bloomington

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