American BabyA Mother, A Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption
The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other
During the Baby Boom in 1960s America, women were encouraged to stay home and raise large families, but sex and childbirth were taboo subjects. Premarital sex was common, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. In 1961, sixteen-year-old Margaret Erle fell in love and became pregnant. Her enraged family sent her to a maternity home, and after she gave birth, she wasn't even allowed her to hold her own son. Social workers threatened her with jail until she signed away her parental rights. Her son vanished, his whereabouts and new identity known only to an adoption agency that would never share the slightest detail about his fate.
Claiming to be acting in the best interests of all, the adoption business was founded on secrecy and lies. American Baby lays out how a lucrative and exploitative industry removed children from their birth mothers and placed them with hopeful families, fabricating stories about infants' origins and destinations, then closing the door firmly between the parties forever. Adoption agencies and other organizations that purported to help pregnant women struck unethical deals with doctors and researchers for pseudoscientific "assessments," and shamed millions of young women into surrendering their children.
Gabrielle Glaser dramatically demonstrates the power of the expectations and institutions that Margaret faced. Margaret went on to marry and raise a large family with David's father, but she never stopped longing for and worrying about her firstborn. She didn't know he spent the first years of his life living just a few blocks away from her; as he grew, he wondered about where he came from and why he was given up. Their tale--one they share with millions of Americans--is one of loss, love, and the search for identity.
Adoption's closed records are being legally challenged in states nationwide. Open adoption is the rule today, but the identities of many who were adopted or who surrendered a child in the postwar decades are locked in sealed files. American Baby illuminates a dark time in our history and shows a path to reunion that can help heal the wounds inflicted by years of shame and secrecy.
Her Best-Kept SecretWhy Women Drink - And How They Can Regain Control
Her Best-Kept Secret investigates the reasons behind the epidemic of female drinking in this country, our strange national history with alcohol, and the many ways in which women can get better if their consumption becomes risky. Her Best-Kept Secret reveals how women are questioning the efficacy - and safety - of the most common prescription for alcohol abuse, Alcoholics Anonymous. Most importantly, it provides clear, hopeful solutions based in the emerging science that is increasingly tailored to women’s bodies and psyches.
The NoseA Profile of Sex, Beauty, and Survival
In The Nose, Glaser took readers on a whirlwind tour across the spectrum of human history, culture, and emotion. From hieroglyphics to modern journals, the nose has been both an enduring mystery and obsession, as fascinating to Pliny as it was to Picasso. Positioning the nose as the “anchor of our features” as well as the principle gateway to life, Gabrielle Glaser charts the shifting significances of the nose across different geographies, ethnicities, and time periods.
Strangers to the TribePortraits of Interfaith Marriage
Any marriage is an adventure, but for partners with different religious backgrounds, the journey is sure to offer some unexpected twists. In Strangers to the Tribe, the journalist Gabrielle Glaser introduces us to eleven Jewish-Gentile couples, their families, and the many ways they have found to navigate their differences. These portraits, unsparing yet nonjudgmental, show how the answers are taking shape in interfaith America.