This Man's Pill: Reflections on the 50th Birthday of the Pill
Remarkably, 80% of American women since 1945 have used the oral contraceptive pill. The fact that the pill, first synthesised in 1951, changed the lives of millions of women is no surprise; its life altering effects on Carl Djerassi, the pill's self titled father, are less well known. This book is a dramatic, personal, and intimate memoir of the synthesis of the first steroid oral contraceptive and a life in its aftermath. Djerassi credits his pill with changing him from Stanford's professor of chemistry into a novelist and playwright, apparently conceiving a new genre: science in fiction, making science accessible to “a wider public”. He uses this book to identify social changes attributable to the pill, like the sexual revolution of the 1960s, but also to identify how the pill transformed him.
Djerassi lives, talks, and loves in these pages. Halfway through the book, readers are treated to a sad