Mothers and Motherhood presents dramatic documentation of the social, cultural, demographic, medical, and political factors that shape the experience of motherhood. Organized into four sections, this collection opens with several articles that examine how society constructs images of motherhood and how the social definition of mothering changes over time. The next section examines the theme of reproduction, demonstrating how ideas about fertility shape the meaning of motherhood. The third section explores how social variables - such as slavery and ethnic and religious backgrounds - affect the mothering experiences of women. The essays in the final section examine the links between mothers, mothering, and public policy. Designed for the general reader as well as students of women's history, women's studies, family history, sociology, and American studies, this volume should also be of great interest to politicians and policy makers. This book endeavors t only to teach about the history of mothers and motherhood but to inspire others to undertake their own research projects on the subject.