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Imperiled Innocents: Anthony Comstock and Family Reproduction in Victorian America / Edition 1
     

Imperiled Innocents: Anthony Comstock and Family Reproduction in Victorian America / Edition 1

4.6 3
by Nicola Kay Beisel
 

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ISBN-10: 0691027781

ISBN-13: 9780691027784

Pub. Date: 07/27/1998

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Moral reform movements claiming to protect children began to emerge in the United States over a century ago, most notably when Anthony Comstock and his supporters crusaded to restrict the circulation of contraception, information on the sexual rights of women, and "obscene" art and literature. Much of their rhetoric influences debates on issues surrounding children

Overview

Moral reform movements claiming to protect children began to emerge in the United States over a century ago, most notably when Anthony Comstock and his supporters crusaded to restrict the circulation of contraception, information on the sexual rights of women, and "obscene" art and literature. Much of their rhetoric influences debates on issues surrounding children and sexuality today. Drawing on Victorian accounts of pregnant girls, prostitutes, Free Lovers, and others deemed "immoral," Nicola Beisel argues that rhetoric about the moral corruption of children speaks to an ongoing parental concern: that children will fail to replicate or exceed their parents' social position. The rhetoric of morality, she maintains, is more than symbolic and goes beyond efforts to control mass behavior. For the Victorians, it tapped into the fear that their own children could fall prey to vice and ultimately live in disgrace.

In a rare analysis of Anthony Comstock's crusade with the New York and New England Societies for the Suppression of Vice, Beisel examines how the reformer worked on the anxieties of the upper classes. One tactic was to link moral corruption with the flood of immigrants, which succeeded in New York and Boston, where minorities posed a political threat to the upper classes. Showing how a moral crusade can bring a society's diffuse anxieties to focus on specific sources, Beisel offers a fresh theoretical approach to moral reform movements.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691027784
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/27/1998
Series:
Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Introduction: Family Reproduction, Children's Morals, and Censorship3
2The City, Sexuality, and the Suppression of Abortion and Contraception25
3Moral Reform and the Protection of Youth49
4Anthony Comstock versus Free Love: Religion, Marriage, and the Victorian Family76
5Immigrants, City Politics, and Censorship in New York and Boston104
6Censorious Quakers and the Failure of the Anti-Vice Movement in Philadelphia128
7Morals versus Art158
8Conclusion: Focus on the Family199
Notes219
Bibliography255
Index269

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Imperiled Innocents - Anthony Comstock and Family Reproduction in Victorian America 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She looked around for some prey, and saw the fence." Hm....."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He nuzzles against the fence, dreaming about the wild.