CfM has exciting news! The beloved classic Birth Book by Raven Lang has been reprinted in a limited edition and CfM has copies for sale (we are still working on this catalog entry, so more information will be available on the CfM site in a few days). It is very difficult to find a copy of this book on the secondary market (such as from Amazon). In the early 70's, Raven Lang was a self-trained midwife in Santa Cruz, CA. She and her sister midwives opened a birth center and served many women before one of the midwives was arrested in an undercover sting operation by a law enforcement couple posing as homebirth clients. Birth Book was the first woman authored, empowerment model, homebirth-oriented book to come out of the childbirth and midwifery movement of the 70's (published even before the better known and also much beloved classic, Spiritual Midwifery).
The Our Bodies, Ourselves website has this to say about Birth Book:
"The Birth Book was truly a book of the early 1970s. It existed in one trade edition, went into several printings and passed too soon out of print. It possesses a rare vitality and ingenuity. Well-produced, it has the feel of grass-roots effort and inspiration and bespeaks an optimism hard to come by nowadays: 'We have been asking and asking the people in positions of responsibility to respond to our needs and the needs of our children. Now we realize that we must do more than just ask, so we have chosen to act...(joining) hands in a struggle for human birth.' (Introduction) It contains photo after photo of families and of women giving birth in many different positions."
The California Association of Midwives has more to add:
"Raven is perhaps best known for writing the Birth Book. When she wrote it, very little else had been published about birth. All that was in common circulation were Lamaze and Dick-Read. She felt that teaching only opened a handful of women to the possibilities of what birth could be. She wanted to shout it out to the world. The first edition of the Birth Book was self published. She had been in contract with a publisher, but she was informed that she would have to remove all pictures of vulvas and bottoms. She chose to publish herself instead. Today, editions of the Birth Book sell for as much as $200, so hold on to your copies, ladies, they are precious."
Excited yet? I am! I cannot wait to get my copy of this historical treasure!