1922 September 7

Post Office Lifts Ban on Alexander Berkman’s “Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist”

 

Postmaster General Will Hays on this day lifted the ban on Alexander Berkman’s book, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, making it the last political publication banned by the U.S. Post Office during the World War I and Red Scare era (1917–1920). Berkman had already been deported from the U.S., along with Emma Goldman, on December 21, 1919.

Censorship of sexually related materials continued, however, and even increased over the next several years. On the continuing Post Office censorship of sexually related materials, see the famous arrest and subsequent vindication of Mary Ware Dennett, author of the sex education pamphlet, The Sex Side of Life (April 23, 1929; March 30, 1930).

Will Hays soon left his position to become head of the Hollywood Motion Picture Producers, where he persuaded increasingly stronger self-censorship measures by the film industry. That effort culminated in the repressive Hollywood Code, enacted on June 13, 1934.

Hear an excerpt from Alexander Berkman, The ABC of Anarchism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDEx18aK-xk

Learn more about Alexander Berkman: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAberkman.htm

Read about Berkman’s life with Emma Goldman: Vivian Gornick, Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life (2011)

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!