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Babymania

Katha Pollitt

21 March 1996
Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness 
by Elaine Tyler May.
Basic Books, 318 pp., $24, June 1995, 0 465 00609 4
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Mothers in Law: Feminist Theory and the Legal Regulation of Motherhood 
edited by Martha Albertson Fineman and Isabel Karpin.
Columbia, 398 pp., £12.95, June 1995, 9780231096812
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What about Us? An Open Letter to the Mothers Feminism Forgot 
by Maureen Freely.
Bloomsbury, 224 pp., £15.99, October 1995, 0 7475 2304 5
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Kidding Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies and Bargaining Power 
by Rhona Mahony.
Basic Books, 277 pp., $23, June 1995, 0 465 08594 6
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... Having a baby is such an impediment to American women I used to wonder why they didn’t go on strike: ‘No equality, no kids!’ It may be that something like that is happening in those countries where family structure and masculine attitudes are in radical conflict with women’s desire for emancipation. Catholic Italy and Spain, of all places, have the lowest fertility rates in the world today ...

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