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Perversion for Profit: The Politics of…
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Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New… (edition 2013)

by Whitney Strub (Author)

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Member:trcovell
Title:Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right
Authors:Whitney Strub (Author)
Info:Columbia University Press (2013), 400 pages
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Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right by Whitney Strub

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Entertaining if preachy and disorganized account of attacks on pornography in the US from the early 20th century. Strub’s best points come when he shows how right-wing politicians explicitly connected attacking pornography to letting the rest of capitalism do its dirty work unhindered by any other kind of regulation—our kids need protection from smut, not from child labor! Strub blames the failure of liberalism to defend a politics of pleasure for allowing right-wingers to set the terms of debate, and argues that antipornography feminists made a bad alliance with conservatives even as pro-pleasure feminists couldn’t find a home in late-20th-century liberalism. ( )
  rivkat | Feb 8, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0231148860, Hardcover)

While America is not alone in its ambivalence toward sex and its depictions, the preferences of the nation swing sharply between toleration and censure. This pattern has grown even more pronounced since the 1960s, with the emergence of the New Right and its attack on the "floodtide of filth" that was supposedly sweeping the nation. Antipornography campaigns became the New Right's political capital in the 1960s, laying the groundwork for the "family values" agenda that shifted the country to the right.

Perversion for Profit traces the anatomy of this trend and the crucial function of pornography in constructing the New Right agenda, which has emphasized social issues over racial and economic inequality. Conducting his own extensive research, Whitney Strub vividly recreates the debates over obscenity that consumed members of the ACLU in the 1950s and revisits the deployment of obscenity charges against purveyors of gay erotica during the cold war, revealing the differing standards applied to heterosexual and homosexual pornography. He follows the rise of the influential Citizens for Decent Literature during the 1960s and the pivotal events that followed: the sexual revolution, feminist activism, the rise of the gay rights movement, the "porno chic" moment of the early 1970s, and resurgent Christian conservatism, which now shapes public policy far beyond the issue of sexual decency.

Strub also examines the ways in which the left failed to mount a serious or sustained counterattack to the New Right's use of pornography as a political tool. As he demonstrates, this failure put the Democratic Party at the mercy of Republican rhetoric. In placing debates about pornography at the forefront of American postwar history, Strub revolutionizes our understanding of sex and American politics.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:44 -0400)

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