The Modern Law Library

Summer reading picks and why a YMCA-funded crusade against obscenity matters today

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Do you need some distractions during vacation travel or while lying directly under your A/C unit and sweating? It’s time for The Modern Law Library’s summer recommendations episode, in which host Lee Rawles shares her pop culture picks with you, plus a re-airing of one of our older episodes with current relevance.

As states navigate a post-Dobbs world, a series of federal and state regulations known as Comstock laws are being discussed as avenues to further restrict access to abortion drugs and birth control.

In 2018, with Roe v. Wade still the law of the land, Rawles and Amy Werbel discussed the fiery namesake of those laws and Werbel’s book Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock.

It sheds light on how a 19th century U.S. Postal Service agent funded by the Young Men’s Christian Association created obscenity restrictions so sweeping that medical textbooks were seized and destroyed for displaying anatomical diagrams.

Rawles also shares some favorites from what she’s been reading and listening to since our 2023 year-end pop culture picks episode. If you have favorite reads so far in 2024, send your recommendations to [email protected] with a brief description, and we may choose to highlight them on our social media.

Mentioned in the episode:



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