THE SMUT PEDDLERS by James J. Kilpatrick

THE SMUT PEDDLERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

James J. Kilpatrick asks in this comprehensive non-sensational study of the multi-million dollar pornography business how an author can write descriptively of the obscenity racket without falling into fresh obscenity. Somehow he succeeds -- in contrast to at least one current widely-circulated ""study"" that is no more than a ""digest"" of hard-core pronography. Actually only part of Kilpatrick's book is devoted to smut and its peddlers. The rest deals with the law of obscenity censorship as it has evolved from courts and legislatures since Anthony Comstock's day. While admitting to be on the side of pornography censorship, the author sees himself more as a ""war correspondent"" covering the ""battle between the literati and the Philistines"". It all started last year when Kilpatrick, editor of The Richmond News Leader responded under the name of ""Billy Williams"" to a dozen advertisements in drug store ""girlie"" magazines. And from there Kilpatrick was off on a descriptive quest that proved that with postage stamps and a few dollars the mailman will deliver -- in plain envelope -- an infinite variety of photograph, slide, movie, book, cartoon or recording, every one dealing with sex. An evenly balanced book, readable if somewhat legalistic in spots, presenting an overall picture of the pros and cons of censorship plus a rarely offered glimpse into the mechanism of smut peddling itself.

Publisher: Doubleday