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Girls Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius Paperback – March 2, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0679743415 ISBN-10: 0679743413

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (March 2, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679743413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679743415
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,443,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A remarkable tour de force of literary/legal sleuthing, this massive chronicle of the conflict between artistic expression and censorship covers a vast terrain.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

De Grazia ( Censorship Landmarks , LJ 2/15/70; Banned Films , LJ 11/15/82), a renowned defender of First Amendment rights, has written a comprehensive but very readable and thought-provoking history of literary censorship and the continuing legal and constitutional struggle to define "obscenity." He enhances our understanding of the ongoing conflict between art and censors by interspersing gossipy background stories with the candid, inspiring, and sometimes desperate words of authors James Joyce, Henry Miller, Vladimir Nabokov, and William Burroughs; famous publishers; and others. De Grazia firmly believes that the enlightened interpretations of the First Amendment evidenced in landmark Supreme Court decisions on Joyce's Ulysses (1933) and Miller's Tropic of Cancer (1964) have been eroded by the Burger and Rehnquist courts. Librarians have only to look at recent controversies over National Endowment for the Arts legislation and the 2 Live Crew trial to understand his warning that the "power of art to offend and alarm seems to be as great as ever." Highly recommended as required reading for all librarians and everyone interested in intellectual freedom issues. For "The Coming Censorship: A Talk with Jason Epstein," see Behind the Book, p. 112.--Ed.
- Jacqueline Adams, Carroll Cty. P.L., Westminster, Md.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By George Schaefer on March 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book. In Girls Lean Back Everywhere, de Grazia gives a good history of censorship in the United States. James Joyce, Henry Miller, William Burroughs, Radclyffe Hall et al, have faced the blade of the censor. Lenny Bruce, The Swedish film I Am Curious, Robert Mapplethorpe and 2 Live Crew are also discussed in this book. This book packs a lot of information about the great (and not so great) literature and art that has been banned in the United States. While some of the work might be mediocre it still most be protected. 2 Live Crew may not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as James Joyce but one should at least have the choice to do so. That is one of the basic arguments of the book. Unless a book or artwork can be shown to be utterly without socially redeeming value, it must be protected by the First Amendment. Some of the court transcription of various trials are fascinating. I came to revere great men such as Barney Rossett and Judge William Brennan (who I paraphrased earlier in the review) for their efforts in making free expression just that: free. It is a book that should be read by lovers of literature and art. It should be read by anyone hesitant to have their First Amendment Rights get Borked. America would be the richer if this book sat on coffee tables all across the country. It strengthened my faith in the First Amendment and strengthened my resolve to fight for its preservation. A book like this should be read in colleges so kids can learn about the Comstockian fools that occasionally muster up steam enough to run amok over the Constitutional liberties the rest of us would like to enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
I encountered this book in my researches on the first amendment. It provides hard to find information and intriguing details and the rarely heard backgrounds to the many cases which it discusses. As such, it is a very useful research tool, and a captivating read for those who are interested in Domestic Obscenity or similar fields. Despite this, I found the organization difficult to follow, and the information somewhat densely presented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Jamison VINE VOICE on July 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I should chime in with the other reviews here on Amazon that this is an interesting history of an interesting social phenomena and especially that it includes the very sort of excerpts that have made such a history clear. Many of those excerpts are from the relevant texts but also there are pertinent transcripts from governmental progress/regress regarding the issue of obscenity in the courts and congress. This book is an excellent source for such materials as well as an overall view of the history. Some of the chosen excerpts are hilarious in retrospect and the book is written to capitalize on this.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hromjak@ibm.net on June 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
All those on the Right on the censorship issue should read this book. Perhaps a few minds would be changed. The story of the two women that brought <Ulysses> out in this country is especially interesting.
---- Al Hromjak
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