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The Struggle for Free Speech in the United States, 1872-1915

Edward Bliss Foote, Edward Bond Foote, and Anti-Comstock Operations

By Janice Ruth Wood

Routledge – 2008 – 150 pages

Series: Studies in American Popular History and Culture

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $54.95
    978-0-415-54276-0
    February 22nd 2012
  • Add to CartHardback: $130.00
    978-0-415-96246-9
    December 25th 2007

Description

Passed in 1873, the Comstock Act banned 'obscene' materials from the mail without defining obscenity, leaving it open to interpretation by courts that were hostile to free speech. Literature that reflected changing attitudes toward sexuality, religion, and social institutions fell victim to the Comstock Act and related state laws. Dr. Edward Bliss Foote became among the earliest individuals convicted under the law after he mailed a brochure on birth-control methods. For the next four decades, Foote Sr. and his son, Dr. Edward Bond Foote, challenged the Comstock Act in Congress, legislatures, and courts and also offered personal assistance to Comstock defendants. This book chronicles the Footes’ struggle, examining not just the efforts of these cruising champions of freedom of expression and women's rights, but also the larger issues surrounding free speech and censorship in the Gilded Age of American history.

Contents

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: Historical Background

Chapter Three: Legal Encounters with Comstock

Chapter Four: Free-Speech Organizational Activities

Chapter Five: Personal Involvement in Free-Speech Cases

Chapter Six: Conclusions

Appendix

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Author Bio

As a media professional for 15 years, Janice Wood worked in newspaper journalism and corporate communication in her native Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. She now teaches in Texas Christian University’s Schieffer School of Journalism.

Name: The Struggle for Free Speech in the United States, 1872-1915: Edward Bliss Foote, Edward Bond Foote, and Anti-Comstock Operations (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Janice Ruth Wood. Passed in 1873, the Comstock Act banned 'obscene' materials from the mail without defining obscenity, leaving it open to interpretation by courts that were hostile to free speech. Literature that reflected changing attitudes toward...
Categories: American History, Modern History 1750-1945, Social & Cultural History