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Not in Front of the Children: 'Indecency,' Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth
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Not in Front of the Children: 'Indecency,' Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  16 reviews
From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, from Internet filters to the v-chip, censorship exercised on behalf of children and adolescents is often based on the assumption that they 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 F
Paperback, 442 pages
Published September 11th 2007 by Rutgers University Press (first published 2001)
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This was enjoyable enough, and it cited my advisor within the first few pages. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly as juicy as it could have been, so I felt a little like I was doing research and not enjoying a book. Not perfect, but still worth a read.
Amy Bailey
This is a very thorough and easy-to-follow account of the history of censorship in the U.S. (with also a brief section of worldwide historical significance). At times I found myself wishing it was over, as much of the history of intellectual freedom is the same issues rehashed by different generations. However, this is a valuable read for anyone interested in issues surrounding intellectual freedom, especially those regarding children and young adults, as well as professionals in library or teac ...more
Tyler Malone
This book really is a remarkable piece of work. Sure, a lot of same characters and platitudes come in a little too often, but the thesis, should taboos be restricted by governments or corporations, is incredibly compelling, because, as the book demonstrates, the threshold of harm seems limitless when freedoms to “harm” ourselves are taken away ; most times restricting these things changes the path that society flows. If you’re interested in an expansive bibliography and a book that really maps o ...more
Really enjoyed the information and discussion about "harmful" ideas for children and how American thinking on this has developed (or not). Found the sections about sex ed materials particularly interesting; also the historical background (e.g. when did we begin thinking of kids as innocent and pure? hint: Christianity had a lot to do with it, because the ancients tended to think children were basically disgusting). A lot of legal information but presented in a pretty engaging way. Highly recomme ...more
Jul 08, 2007 Colleen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of censorship, sexuality, media and parents
Shelves: sexuality, censorship
This is loaded with information and is accessible in its style and layout. Heins brings a lot of reason and insight to an complex issue, as well as facts,and historical precedent. Some of the parts I liked best, though, are when she discusses how certain aspects of the issue of what our children watch aren't as fundamentally human as we might think- like the presumption of childhood sexual innocence. If you think about these issues, this is worth every page.
I used this for a research paper, and it helped immensely. The book is really well-researched and keeps you interested, until it becomes a bit repetitive. The subject remains intriguing, but the focus of the book strays a little toward the end, when it almost becomes a summary of legal cases involving censorship. Nevertheless, I would recommend it.
First Second Books
I posted more about this book on the First Second blog, so what I’ll say here is: this is a fascinating book that traces the path of the legal wars on the ‘freedom of speech’ part of the first amendment, with special attention on how the judgments were continually aimed at ‘protecting children’ despite children rarely being a part of the matter at hand.
Christina G
Read this for my independent study. Kind of dry and repetitive legal history of censorship and children. Makes the good but not groundbreaking point that censorship is more about socializing youth than protecting them from psychological harm, and that adults are often uncomfortable with children's sexuality and sexuality in general.
This book was interesting but a little hard to get through. If I hadn't had to read it for class, I may have not finished it... oh wait, I didn't finish it. Oops.

Hiens does a really thorough job of detailin the legislative nad judicial history of censorship, of many media, laws and legislation.
A fairly read-able legal history. I disagree with her decision to conflate pornography and erotica, but on the whole it s a well researched history. A valuable resources of youth services librarians.
Michael Adamson
Jun 30, 2008 Michael Adamson rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noone, especially parents
Recommended to Michael by: Self
I was hoping this book would be more for censorship. This book takes the word justification to a new level. Anything that might hurt children in any form needs to be censored or abolished.
Brian S. Wise
The book is frequently difficult to read, because Heins' writing style is boxy and somewhat unpleasant.
A former Professor of mine wrote this. I truly enjoyed reading was informative and interesting.
Part of my reading for Intro Education research paper on censorship in children's books. Interesting subject.
Good overview, if a bit dry, of sex ed, press freedom, and media freedom.
much data. but well worth the mental strain.
Dan Schindel
Dan Schindel marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2015
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