Witches, Midwives, & Nurses
“This booklet will open your eyes. Barbara Ehrenrich and Deirdre English show how, for reasons of class politics, women’s suppression and naked greed, wealthy men discredited, persecuted and outright killed the wisewomen healers, leaving themselves to be the sole practitioners of their ‘scientific’ medicine. The information presented here gives a whole new perspective to medical history and points to some of the causes underlying our current healthcare mess.” ―WomanSource Catalog & Review
A History of Women Healers
by Barbara Ehrenrich and Deirdre English
Witches, Midwives, and Nurses examines how women-led healing was delegitimized to make way for patriarchy, capitalism, and the emerging medical industry.
As we watch another agonizing attempt to shift the future of healthcare in the United States, we are reminded of the longevity of this crisis, and how firmly entrenched we are in a system that doesn’t work.
First published by the Feminist Press in 1973, Witches, Midwives, and Nurses is an essential book about the corruption of the medical establishment and its historic roots in witch hunters. In this new and updated edition, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English delve into the current fascination with and controversies about witches, exposing our fears and fantasies. They build on their classic exposé on the demonization of women healers and the political and economic monopolization of medicine. This quick history brings us up-to-date, exploring today’s changing attitudes toward childbirth, alternative medicine, and modern-day witches.
Paperback | 112 pages | The Feminist Press at CUNY; 2nd edition | 2010
Barbara Ehrenreich is author of the 2002 New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. She has written nearly twenty books, and has been a columnist for Time magazine and the New York Times. She has contributed to The Progressive, Harpers, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms., The New Republic, Z Magazine, In These Times, and Salon.com.
Deirdre English is the former editor of Mother Jones Magazine. She has written for the Nation, New York Times Book Review, San Francisco Magazine, S.F. Chronicle Sunday Magazine, Vogue, and public radio and television. Currently, English is a professor at University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.