Coverart for item
The Resource Banned in Boston

Banned in Boston

Label
Banned in Boston
Title
Banned in Boston
Creator
Subject
Summary
“I want to be intelligent, even if I do live in Boston.”—an anonymous Bostonian, 1929 In this spectacular romp through the Puritan City, Neil Miller relates the scintillating story of how a powerful band of Brahmin moral crusaders helped make Boston the most straitlaced city in America, forever linked with the infamous catchphrase “Banned in Boston.” Bankrolled by society’s upper crust, the New England Watch and Ward Society acted as a quasi-vigilante police force and notorious literary censor for over eighty years. Often going over the heads of local authorities, it orchestrated the mass censorship of books and plays, raided gambling dens and brothels, and utilized spies to entrap prostitutes and their patrons. Miller deftly traces the growth of the Watch and Ward, from its formation in 1878 to its waning days in the 1950s. During its heyday, the society and its imitators banished modern classics by Hemingway, Faulkner, and Sinclair Lewis and went to war with publishing and literary giants such as Alfred A. Knopf and The Atlantic Monthly. To the chagrin of the Watch and Ward, some writers rode the national wave of publicity that accompanied the banning of their books. Upton Sinclair declared staunchly, “I would rather be banned in Boston than read anywhere else because when you are banned in Boston, you are read everywhere else.” Others faced extinction or tried to barter their way onto bookshelves, like Walt Whitman, who hesitantly removed lines from Leaves of Grass under the watchful eye of the Watch and Ward. As the Great Depression unfolded, the society shifted its focus from bookstores to burlesque, successfully shuttering the Old Howard, the city’s legendary theater that attracted patrons from T. S. Eliot to John F. Kennedy. Banned in Boston is a lively history and, despite Boston’s “liberal” reputation today, a cautionary tale of the dangers caused by moral crusaders of all stripes
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Miller, Neil
Nature of contents
dictionaries
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Nonfiction
  • Politics
  • History
Label
Banned in Boston
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
OVERDRIVE:ecf6b318-2cf0-4d47-a193-b4107cd96a01
Dimensions
4 3/4 in. or 12 cm.
Form of item
electronic
http://library.link/vocab/inputERC
True
Isbn
9780807051139
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Specific material designation
optical disk
Label
Banned in Boston
Publication
Control code
OVERDRIVE:ecf6b318-2cf0-4d47-a193-b4107cd96a01
Dimensions
4 3/4 in. or 12 cm.
Form of item
electronic
http://library.link/vocab/inputERC
True
Isbn
9780807051139
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Specific material designation
optical disk

Library Locations

    • Merrimack Valley Library ConsortiumBorrow it
      4 High Street, Suite 175, North Andover, MA, 01845, US
      42.7009413 -71.1255084
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