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Unclean Lips – Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture

Josh Lambert


Jews have played an integral role in the history of obscenity in America. For most of the 20th century, Jewish entrepreneurs and editors led the charge against obscenity laws. Jewish lawyers battled literary censorship even when their non-Jewish counterparts refused to do so, and they won court decisions in favor of texts including Ulysses, A Howl, Lady Chatterley's Lover, and Tropic of Cancer. Jewish literary critics have provided some of the most influential courtroom testimony on behalf of freedom of expression. The anti-Semitic stereotype of the lascivious Jew has made many historians hesi ... More

Keywords: American Jews, obscenity laws, America, literary censorship, Jewish literary critics, freedom of expression, Jewishness, American culture, American Jewry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9781479876433
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479876433.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Josh Lambert, author

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