Thursday, 2 February 2012


Writer: Paul S. Boyer
Title: Purity in Print
Subtitle: The Vice-Society Movement and Book Censorship in America
Language: English
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
Year of Publication: 1968
Format: 153x239mm
Pages: xxi+362
Illustrations: 29 black and white pictures
Jacket Design: Mike McIver
Binding: Red cloth in colour dust jacket
Original Price: USD 7.95
Weight: 990gr.
Entry No.: 2012007
Entry Date: 2nd February 2012


Purity in Print is the story of book censorship in America, especially as it was practiced by self-appointed groups calling themselves "Societies for the Suppression of Vice." Professor Boyer begins his study with the founding of the vice societies in fast growing American cities during the decades following the Civil War; his book ends with their decline in the 1930s, a decline symbolized by Judge John Woolsey's 1933 decision to allow Joyce's Ulysses through U.S. Customs. Book censorship still exists, of course -indeed, it is showing distinct signs of a resurgence at this moment -but Purity in Print concerns the heyday of the censors and those who fought them.
Purity in Print goes beyond the familiar "landmark" court decisions to examine the often complex social and intellectual circumstances which underlay those decisions. It is based not only on newspaper accounts, memoirs, and court records, but also on interviews with individuals who figured in the censorship battles of the 1920s and 1930s. The book is full of revealing anecdotes about the protagonists in censorship fights, with a number of surprises as to who stood where during the actual heat of controversy. H. L. Mencken, often considered the living antithesis of vice-society leaders like Anthony Comstock and John Sumner, in 1922 joined with Sumner to expurgate Dreiser's "The Genius", urging upon the author the wisdom of accepting some pruning in order to get the suppressed book re-issued. In sharp contrast were the noisy, direct confrontations with the  censors undertaken by men like Donald Friede, publisher of The Well of Loneliness, and Horace Liveright, source of numerous challenged titles in the 1920s. It is interesting to note that in some instances the publishers  who were more amenable to the censors' demands were those whose companies survived and flourished, while the flamboyant Friede, Liveright, and others failed in the aftermath of the 1929 crash.
The progression toward a more liberal literary climate was far from smooth, and frequently disgruntled older authors and conservative publishers covertly supported the censors. Frequently, too, it was ephemeral fluff that was saved from the censor's wrath, rather than a Stephen Crane, or Theodore Dreiser or James Joyce. But, in broad outline, the story of Purity in Print is a record of the decline of the vice-society mentality and of educating American society to an appreciation of the great works that illuminate the conditions of life in the twentieth century. The book is a fascinating chapter in the history of American taste and taboos, and of the growing awareness of and honesty toward a new and more complex world.


Writer: Edward M. Brecher
Title: The Sex Researchers
Foreword: William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson
Language: English
Edition: First Printing
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Signet/New American Library, Inc.
Year of Publication: 2/1971
Format: 105x178mm (trimmed)
Pages: 406
Binding: Paperback in printed wrappers
Original Price: USD 1.50
Weight: 277gr.
Entry No.: 2012006
Entry Date: 2nd February 2012

Breaking Down the Sexual Barriers

This important and controversial book is the story of the men and women who created a revolution in human sexuality. THE SEX RESEARCHERS begins by shedding startling light on the secret sexual life of the Victorians and concludes with the latest investigations into the current swinging scene. Its revelations will disturb many and open for others new avenues to sexual freedom and enjoyment.

A Partial Listing of the Contents:
Women Discover Their Own Sexuality
Males, Females, and Others – Hermaphrodites, Tomboys, Sissies, Transvestites, Transsexuals, Homosexuals, Bisexuals, and Heterosexuals
The Falling-in-Love Experience
Sex Research and Sex Therapy – The Achievement of Masters and Johnson
When Sexual Inhibitions Are Cast-off – The Sexual Freedom Movement and “The Swinging Scene”