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Not In Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth

The first comprehensive history of the debate about censorship designed to protect children and winner of the ALA's 2002 Eli Oboler Award for best-published work in the area of intellectual freedomFrom Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, Internet filters to the V-chip, censorship is often based on the assumption that children and adolescents must be protected from "indecent" information that might harm their development -- whether in art, in literature, or on a Web site. But where does this assumption come from, and is it true? In Not in Front of the Children, a pathbreaking history of "indecency" laws and other restrictions aimed at protecting youth, Marjorie Heins suggests that the "harm-to-minors" argument rests on shaky foundations.

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