Most Americans tend to view censorship as a repressive aspect of other societies or historical eras, one that touches on our lives only in relation to national security or certain cold war considerations. In this provocative history of censorship, Sue Curry Jansen challenges conventional thought with a bold new view: that censorship, an embodiment of the relationship between power and knowledge, is as much a feature of liberal, market societies as it is of totalitarianisms. Building on an analytic tradition laid out by such thinkers as Marcuse and Foucault, Jansen addresses the notion of "market censorship" and shows how the marketplace has become an arena for liberal "power-knowledge." She also analyzes Marx's critique of bourgeois censorship, examines censorship at various levels of Soviet society, and takes an incisive look at economic censorship within our own capitalist nation. The book concludes with a discussion on strategies of resistance to this powerful, and indeed universal, form of social control.
"The many faces of censorship, apparent in the constraints of the marketplace as well as in the more commonly recognized controls of church or state, emerge in vivid and often fascinating detail....The book raises and explores matters of great importance in a lively, engaging, and thoroughly stimulating fashion....An important volume for all academic libraries."--Choice
"An intellectual tour de force....A remarkable and intellectually challenging confrontation with ideas that have guided traditional writing about freedom and control of words, media, and our understanding of reality."--Journal of Communication
"It is forcefully, even brilliantly written, as well as thought provoking."--Contemporary Sociology
"An important book that should be read by those students of communications and cultural studies who intend to build a critical theory of meaning, censorship, and the media in this postmodern period of world history."--American Journal of Sociology
"Jansen offers an incisive and challenging alternative to conventional approaches to censorship. Instead of approaching censorship merely as a restrictive practice, the book addresses censorship as an intrinsic outcome of concentrated power. The author frees her subject matter from its often partisan depiction, and roots it firmly as an issue of contemporary life."--Stuart Ewen, Hunter College
"Jansen has taken on the prodigious task of offering a history of censorship within a theoretical reformulation of the censorship idea. This is an important book."--Vincent Mosco, Queen's University, Ontario