Joshua Prager

Cindy Seip

Joshua Prager is the author of The Echoing Green. He has written for Vanity Fair, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The unwanted pregnancy in 1970 of Norma McCorvey (1947–2017), the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, opened a great fracture in American life. In The Family Roe: An American Story (W. W. Norton & Company), Prager reports on the Supreme Court’s most divisive case, and the unknown lives at its heart. He spent years with McCorvey, 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. He traces Roe’s 50-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. The Family Roe provides new elements essential to our understanding of this key debate. Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and Joseph M. Goldstein lecturer in law at Yale Law School, called it “a work of deep empathy without sentimentality, a recovery of fact over myth, a quintessentially American story.”