Book nook: 'Our Bodies, Ourselves' + 40

"Our Bodies, Ourselves" by The Boston Women's Health

"Our Bodies, Ourselves" by The Boston Women's Health Collective. Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 928 pp., $26.

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OUR BODIES, OURSELVES, by The Boston Women's Health Book Collective. Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, 928 pp., $26.

Imagine (or remember) being a young woman 40 years ago, when female doctors were almost unheard of and reliable information about women's bodies and sexuality was virtually nonexistent.

Then came the first edition of "Our Bodies, Ourselves," written by 12 women who met at a women's liberation conference -- controversial inside and out, with its blatantly feminist cover boasting a "Women United" poster, and castigated by the likes of the Rev. Jerry Falwell (remember him?) because it encouraged women to explore their bodies (remember speculums?).

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Forty years later, after other editions and 4 million copies sold, there's a revised version for this new decade, wherein sex education is still hard to come by in some places.

THE SCOOP New material includes "safer sex," changes in the health care system, body image, cosmetic surgery and more.

THE BOTTOM LINE Still feminist and frank. And definitive.

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