The New Politics of Pornography

Alexander Donald Downs, Author, Donald Alexander Downs, Author
Alexander Donald Downs, Author, Donald Alexander Downs, Author University of Chicago Press $70 (290p) ISBN 978-0-226-16162-4
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Political science professor at the University of Wisconsin, Downs ( Nazis in Skokie ) undertakes an objective and thought-provoking analysis of the unusual marriage of right-wing conservative philosophy and leftist extremist feminism in the crusade against pornography. According to Downs, just when American culture seemed to have achieved an equilibrium between First Amendment rights and protection from obscenity, grass-roots feminists and moralists in Minneapolis recast the issue. They lobbied for city ordinances that were passed in 1983 only to be vetoed by the mayor. A modified version was enacted in Indianapolis in 1984 but was ruled unconstitutional. Downs reconstructs the momentum and fervor of the activists, balancing his account with the perspective that the participants lacked, and deftly examines the national ramifications, both political and legal, of these local battles. (Dec.)
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