Movie Censorship and American Culture

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2006 - Performing Arts - 334 pages
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From the earliest days of public outrage over "indecent" nickelodeon shows, Americans have worried about the power of the movies. The eleven essays in this book examine nearly a century of struggle over cinematic representations of sex, crime, violence, religion, race, and ethnicity, revealing that the effort to regulate the screen has reflected deep social and cultural schisms.

In addition to the editor, contributors include Daniel Czitrom, Marybeth Hamilton, Garth Jowett, Charles Lyons, Richard Maltby, Charles Musser, Alison M. Parker, Charlene Regester, Ruth Vasey, and Stephen Vaughn. Together they make it clear that censoring the movies is more than just a reflex against "indecency," however defined. Whether censorship protects the vulnerable or suppresses the creative, it is part of a broader culture war that breaks out recurrently as Americans try to come to terms with the market, the state, and the plural society in which they live.

 

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Contents

THE POLITICS OF PERFORMANCE
16
PASSIONS AND THE PASSION PLAY
43
MOTHERING THE MOVIES
73
TO PREVENT THE PREVALENT TYPE OF BOOK
97
BLACK FILMS WHITE CENSORS
159
GOODNESS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH
187
FOREIGN PARTS
212
POLITICAL CENSORSHIP DURING THE COLD
237
A SIGNIFICANT MEDIUM FOR
258
THE PARADOX OF PROTEST
277
CONTRIBUTORS
319
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About the author (2006)

Francis G. Couvares is E. Dwight Salmon professor of history and American studies at Amherst College. He is author of The Remaking of Pittsburgh: Class and Culture in an Industrializing City, 1877--1919 and coauthor, with Martha Saxton, of Interpretations of American History.

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