The Family Roe: An American Story (Hardcover)
A masterpiece of reporting on the Supreme Court’s most divisive case, Roe v. Wade, and the unknown lives at its heart.
Despite her famous pseudonym, no one knows the truth about “Jane Roe,” Norma McCorvey (1947–2017), whose unwanted pregnancy in 1970 opened a great fracture in American life. Journalist Joshua Prager spent years with Norma, discovered her personal papers, a previously unseen trove, and witnessed her final moments. With an explosive revelation at the core of the case, he tells her full story for the first time.
Prager also traces Roe’s fifty-year trajectory through three compelling figures: feminist lawyer Linda Coffee, who filed the original Texas lawsuit yet now lives in obscurity; Curtis Boyd, a former fundamentalist Christian, today a leading provider of third-trimester abortions; and Mildred Jefferson, the first Black female Harvard Medical School graduate, who became a pro-life leader with great secrets.
Essential to our understanding of this key debate, the right to choose or the right to life, The Family Roe will change the way you think about our enduring American divide.
About the Author
Joshua Prager has written for Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. A former Harvard Nieman Fellow, he is the author of The Echoing Green (a Washington Post Best Book of the Year) and lives in New Jersey.
The Family Roe is a work of deep empathy without sentimentality, a recovery of fact over myth, a quintessentially American story.
— Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Joseph M. Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School