The scope of this exploration of ""the right to read"" is much broader than one might assume from the title. Actually, it is...

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THE RIGHT TO READ

The scope of this exploration of ""the right to read"" is much broader than one might assume from the title. Actually, it is a study- historical, sociological, political -- of censorship, in all its aspects. Libraries and schools, publishing of books, newspapers, magazines, handling of topical issues whether of state, politics, religion, race, color or what have you, sex and obscenity, crime, violence, advertising, libel, public papers --all come under his investigation in relation to his topic. The right to read today means more because of increased capacity and the greatest supply of reading material in history. Censorship is not always obvious. It is exercised by a variety of ""censors""-the law, federal and state; the post office- through denial of the mails; pressure groups- and he names specific cases, with the American Legion topping the list; public opinion; groups organized to serve unofficially (and some of these are religious groups, some citizen groups, some industrial etc.) and so on. He charts the changing climate of opinion, with the lowering of sex taboos, the heightened awareness of the dangers to youth in the crime comics. Pressure and prejudice are of more significance than law. This book is valuable in its analysis of the facts rather than in presenting controversial issues (as in Blanshard's earlier books, such as American Catholicism and Catholic Power). His own position is extraordinarily objective through most of the book.

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1955