Bookleggers and Smuthounds

This first examination of the trade in erotica during the 1920s and '30s provides an understanding of the evolution of both obscenity law and sexual explicitness in literature, and raises fascinating questions about moral control, idealism, and the marketplace in ways that continue to resonate today.

Bookleggers and Smuthounds
The Trade in Erotica, 1920-1940

Jay A. Gertzman

1999 | 424 pages | Cloth $55.00 | Paper $32.50
American History / Cultural Studies / Library Science and Publishing / Public Policy
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Table of Contents


1. Traders in Prurience: Pariah Capitalists and Moral Entrepreneurs
2. "Sex O'clock in America": Who Bought What, Where, How, and Why
3. "Hardworking American Daddy": John Saxton Sumner and the New Society for the of Vice
4. "Fifth Avenue Has No More Rights than the Bowery": Taste and Class in Obscenity Legislation
5. "Your Casanova Is Unmailable'': Mail-Order Erotica and Postal Service Guardians of Public Morals
6. The Two Worlds of Samuel Roth: Man of Letters and Entrepreneur of
7. Erotica
8. Epilogue

Selected Bibliography