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I was 11 years old, standing in line for the school cafeteria, on the cusp of my elementary school graduation, and suddenly a thought popped into my head. Y ou know fully and entirely who you are, my year-old brain said. You understand the world. And even if some future self tells you otherwise, always remember what you know at this very moment, right now.
When the decade of the fifties began, sex was still something of an illicit subject in America. Nor had there been any serious modernization of the technology of birth control in more than forty years. But in the decade ahead ordinary Americans were about to become infinitely more open and sophisticated about their sexual habits and practices. Even as the s progressed, a team of brilliant scientists was speeding forward on its way to discover a simple birth-control device that its developers hoped could be taken orally each day—a kind of pill to control pregnancy. In short, a revolution was beginning.
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