McTaggart, Lynne (Ann) 1951-
McTAGGART, Lynne (Ann) 1951-
PERSONAL: Born January 23, 1951, in Yonkers, NY; daughter of Robert Charles and Olga Cecelia (Gargiullo) McTaggart; married Bryan Hubbard (an executive). Education: Attended Northwestern University, 1969-71; Bennington College, B.A., 1973.
ADDRESSES: Home—London, England.
CAREER: Affiliated with Playboy magazine, Chicago, IL, 1971-72, and with Atlantic Monthly, Boston, MA, 1972-73; Saturday Review/World, New York, NY, assistant editor, 1973-74; Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate, New York, NY, associate editor, 1974-75, managing editor, 1975-77; freelance writer and editor, beginning 1977. Publisher, What Doctors Don't Tell You (newsletter), founder and editor.
MEMBER: Alpha Lambda Delta.
AWARDS, HONORS: Merit Award, New York City Women's Press Club, 1976.
The Baby Brokers: The Marketing of White Babies in America, Dial (New York, NY), 1980.
Kathleen Kennedy: Her Life and Times, Dial (New York, NY), 1983, published as Kathleen Kennedy: The Untold Story of Jack Kennedy's Favourite Sister, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1984.
What Doctors Don't Tell You: The Truth about the Dangers of Modern Medicine, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998.
The Field: The Quests for the Secret Force of the Universe, HarperCollins (London, England), 2001.
Editor in chief, Silo (literary magazine of Bennington College), 1971-73. Contributor of articles to periodicals, including New York Times.
ADAPTATIONS: The Baby Brokers: The Marketing of White Babies in America was adapted into a television film titled Born to Be Sold, broadcast by the National Broadcasting Corporation, 1981.
SIDELIGHTS: Lynne McTaggart, a long-time journalist who has served on the staff of such periodicals as the Atlantic Monthly and Chicago Tribune, gained fame for her articles uncovering the malpractices related to private adoptions. Conducting her own undercover investigations, McTaggart first posed as a pregnant college student then later as a woman looking to adopt a child. A few years later, she expanded on these experiences to write a full-length book on the subject. Titled The Baby Brokers: The Marketing of White Babies, the volume appeared in 1980.
In the course of her investigations, McTaggart had unearthed the seamier side of the private adoption business—young, impoverished women who were virtually selling their unborn children for a hefty price to couples unable to have children of their own. Unwilling to suffer the bureaucratic difficulties involved in dealing with a government-sanctioned agency, these couples would retain lawyers and private operations to enable them to adopt a child. McTaggart's book relates the tale, using pseudonyms, of an actual unwed mother and childless couple who are brought together by an adoption attorney. Although The Baby Brokers does not condemn private adoption itself, it reveals that the intermediary army of lawyers and agents who arrange these deals profit handsomely for their services. The lawyer for the couple in The Baby Brokers is openly identified, as are other key players in the independent adoption agency business.
As McTaggart points out, studies show that children adopted outside the usual rigorous parameters of state-affiliated agencies fare just as well as privately-placed youths. The Baby Brokers points an accusing finger, however, at those who treat human lives as a commodity. Although McTaggart's original articles on the subject had triggered a national regulatory movement aimed at curbing abuse related to the private adoption business, a review of The Baby Brokers by Washington Post contributor Barbara Joe noted that McTaggart's claims were somewhat dated at the time the book was published.
McTaggart's next work chronicles the dramatic but brief life of Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy, former president of the United States. Nicknamed "Kick" by her friends and relatives, Kennedy was the eldest daughter of staunch Irish-Catholic parents. Her father, Joseph Kennedy, was a successful businessman and also served as ambassador of the United States to England in the 1930s. Her mother, Rose, was a devout Catholic, and Kennedy herself was brought up to believe in strict notions of propriety; when she married William Hartington, Marquis and Duke of Hartington—and member of the Church of England—her family was upset.
McTaggart's book traces events following the wedding, shortly after which Kennedy was widowed when Hartington was killed in action during the war. Kennedy refused to return to America and her family, staying in England after the tragedy. A few years later, she became involved with another English nobleman, Earl Peter Fitzwilliam. Although the earl was still married, the couple planned a wedding contingent upon the earl's intended divorce. They were, however, killed when their plane crashed during a heavy storm in France in 1948 (Kennedy was only twenty-eight years old at the time). Although newspapers carried the news of her death, the details of the event were not disclosed by the family for fear of harming the political careers of Kennedy's brothers, John and Robert.
While praising the author's insights into the interfamilial drama of the Kennedy household, New York Times Book Review contributor Anna Shapiro commented that the "most revealing part" of the book were McTaggart's disclosures about the events surrounding Kennedy's death. Elizabeth Mehren of the Los Angeles Times described Kathleen Kennedy: Her Life and Times as "a feast for savorers of Kennediana. Chatty, chockfull of anecdotes and seemingly convincing conversations, this obviously well-researched volume reveals as much about the Kennedy family as a whole as it does about its most spirited sister."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books, September, 1996, review of What Doctors Don't Tell You: The Truth about the Dangers of Modern Medicine, p. 21.
Chicago Tribune Book World, November 20, 1983.
Los Angeles Times, January 1, 1984, Elizabeth Mehren, review of Kathleen Kennedy: Her Life and Times, p. 4.
New York Times, November 1, 1981.
Newsweek, November 21, 1983, p. 89.
New York Times Book Review, November 20, 1983, Anna Shapiro, review of Kathleen Kennedy, p. 16; February 3, 1985, p. 34.
Publishers Weekly, June 10, 2002, review of The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, p. 53.
Spectator, March 24, 1984, p. 21.
Washington Post, February 22, 1980, Barbara Joe, review of The Baby Brokers: The Marketing of White Babies, p. D7.
Channelling-Online,http://channelling-online.com/ (October 7, 2004), Tony Neate, review of The Field.
Ultimate QXCI Resource Centre Web site,http://www.theqxci.com/ (June, 2002), review of The Field.
What Doctors Don't Tell You Web site,http://www.wddty.co.uk/ (October 25, 2004).*