Date of this Version
Documentary Editing: Journal of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 31: 2010 ISSN 0196-7134
Sanger’s longest and, I would argue, most significant piece of travel writing was her 1922 World Trip Journal, which chronicles her six-month tour to discuss birth control in Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Ceylon, with stops in Yemen and Egypt, vacation time on the European continent, and a major conference in London. Coming just a few months after she formed the American Birth Control League in New York, the world tour raised Sanger’s international profile and gave her increased prominence at home, solidifying her leadership of the American movement. My focus in what follows is on the first leg of that trip, Sanger’s voyage to and lecture tour of Japan. Sanger’s 1922 World Trip Journal is probably the piece of travel writing she recycled the most; parts of it were featured in the Birth Control Review, the movement’s chief publication, shared with large lecture audiences when she returned to the States, and she used it as the basis for several chapters in her two autobiographies. It also exhibits Sanger’s remarkable perseverance and unparalleled ability to attract publicity. And it tells a great story.