Banned In Boston: When Puritans Waged War On Vice

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Long before the FCC and Tipper Gore, another group set out to protect polite society and the minds of innocent youths. It was the New England Watch and Ward Society, and at turn of the 20th century, the group waged a war in Boston on "commercialized vice" — including gambling, prostitution and print. Among the books that became a target of the Puritan group was Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and Upton Sinclair's "Oil!"

Tufts University Professor Neil Miller chronicles the rise and fall of the New England Watch and Ward Society in his new book, "Banned in Boston: The Watch and Ward Society's Crusade against Books, Burlesque, and the Social Evil."

This program aired on September 14, 2010.


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