Mae West Belle of the Nineties

The End of American Film Censorship

The Hays Code, a censorship system that saw movies as "business, pure and simple," kept Hollywood on a short leash... until a 1952 Supreme Court decision declared it unconstitutional.
Censorship bubble

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Words?

Censorship isn't just redacted text and banned words. What happens when censorship is furtive, flying under the radar as much as possible?
Padlock laptop

The New Censorship

Americans will rail against the government at First Amendment infringements. But the government isn't the only entity that can censor speech or ideas.
1984 cover

America’s Unlikely Cold War Weapon

During the Cold War years, the distribution and selection of American books had to change with changing objectives overseas.
Madame Bovary illustration

What Madame Bovary Revealed About the Freedom of the Press

Gustave Flaubert was put on trial for obscenity. Why didn't he fight government censorship harder?
Victoria Woodhull

Free Love and the First Female Presidential Nominee

Hillary Clinton may become the first woman President, but she is far from the first to run for the office. That honor belongs to Victoria Woodhull.

Obscenity and Unintended Consequences

In the Journal of American Studies, Amanda Frisken investigated how an earlier set of standards around obscenity emerged in the 1870s.