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The Miracle Case: Film Censorship and the Supreme Court Paperback – Oct 21 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas (Oct. 21 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700616195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700616190
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,315,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"This lively work will stand as an important contribution to film history."--Historian

"[The authors] have taken this critical Supreme Court decision and constructed a thoughtful historical narrative that contextualizes it for a popular audience. Their book is accessible public history that demonstrates the importance of the Supreme Court in regulating public taste. . . . The authors' concluding bibliographic essay is critical for anyone currently working on American motion picture history. It not only introduces readers to the key books and articles on motion picture censorship and archives related to the subject, but it also includes references on the creation of an American audience for foreign films."--American Historical Review

"An interesting, well-written case study . . . of a case, [that] dealt with the constitutionality of a New York statute that permitted the banning of motion pictures on the ground that they were 'sacrilegious.&8217; . . . The case is discussed in the context of the history of film censorship in general, and the authors provide a well-documented account of how this controversy emerged from a simple dispute into a Supreme Court decision that affected the entire nation."--Choice

"Wittern-Keller and Haberski have produced an entertaining and readable work that will appeal to students studying the history of freedom of speech, and also to faculty who wish to enliven their constitutional law pedagogy with a case which has been obscured by time but which nevertheless deserves a second look."--Law and Politics Book Review

"An important milestone in the history of America's 'cultural wars, ' the Supreme Court's 1951 decision in Burstyn v. Wilson deserves to be told in greater detail than previously provided by general histories of film censorship. Thanks to Wittern-Keller and Haberski that has now been accomplished."--Gregory D. Black, author of Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies

"A fascinating and informative study that shows how debates about a little-known Italian film challenged fundamental ideas in America about censorship and freedom of expression and helped to forge a cultural revolution in the United States."--Robert Brent Toplin, author of Reel History: In Defense of Hollywood

About the Author

Laura Wittern-Keller is visiting assistant professor of history at the University at Albany (SUNY) and author of Freedom of the Screen: The Legal Challenges to State Film Censorship, 1915-1981. Raymond J. Haberski Jr. is associate professor of history at Marian College in Indiana and author of It's Only a Movie: Films and Critics in American Culture and Freedom to Offend: How New York Remade Movie Culture.

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