Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right-Whitney Strub

  • Title: Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right
  • Author: Whitney Strub
  • Released: 2013-09-03
  • Language:
  • Pages: 400
  • ISBN: 0231148879
  • ISBN13: 978-0231148870
  • ASIN: 0231148879


Review "Strub's well-considered argument about the movement's success is rooted in a scholarly sensitivity to his subjects, a characteristic of the best work on conservatism ... [a] step forward in the present scholarly renaissance on the history of American conservatism. Strub situates the New Right within a vibrant political landscape, not dominated by just one sliver of the politically engaged public but inhabited by pro-porn feminists, reluctant liberals, gay rights activists, influential thinkers, and pragmatic judicial appointees." Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, Journal of American Studies (May 2012)

"Strub does a masterful job of making the complicated postwar legal history of the shifting definitions of obscenity clear in a nuanced analysis that is always attentive to issues of gender and sexuality ... Examining the sexual politics of the New Right's emergence, he provides a thoughtful, compelling addition to the growing literature on the rise of modern conservatism." --David K. Johnson, American Historical Review (October 2012)

"Strub's exploration of the historically-specific 'political capital of moralism' will be useful to a broad range of scholars studying conservative resistance to LGBT civil rights and cultural visibility. By demonstrating how the deregulation of pornography paradoxically bolstered the rise of the New Right, Strub has done the historical profession a valuable service. This is a fine book worthy of a wide scholarly readership." --Shane Landrum (Florida International University), Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History Newsletter, Spring 2012


This study of the politics of pornography in postwar America is marvelous. Paying close attention to both visual and textual sources, Whitney Strub brings them alive for the reader. His genealogy of outrage from comic books to pornography is utterly original. The documentation of the double standard between homosexual and heterosexual pornography is also an exceptionally useful contribution to ongoing gay and lesbian history projects. The book is convincingly and responsibly opinionated and full of life. The chapter on feminism and pornography is a masterpiece. It is a landmark chapter, one of the few historical essays that might achieve that rare accomplishment of actually ending a sterile debate.

(Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America and Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus) pdf