Books That Inspire 2003

A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard
Laurel Ulrich

Through A Midwife’s Tale, I learned about the value of personal writing and about the value of preserving it. I gained new apprecia-tion for the enduring courage and tenacity that this woman and others like her possessed. For more than twenty-seven years, Ballard’s writings chronicled, among other things, “the first full account of delivery practices and of obstetrical mortality in any early American town” (p. 33). Clearly, “without [Ballard’s] diary, we would know nothing of her life….nothing of the 816 deliveries she performed…. We would not even be certain [that] she had been a midwife” (p. 5). It is through manuscripts such as these that we find our complete history and are inspired to record our own.
Karen Cozart
Distance Learning Programs
College of Arts and Sciences