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All Good Books Are Catholic BooksPrint Culture, Censorship, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century America$
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Una M. Cadegan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451126

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451126.001.0001

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Art and Freedom in the Era of “The Church of Your Choice”

Art and Freedom in the Era of “The Church of Your Choice”

(p.123) Chapter 6 Art and Freedom in the Era of “The Church of Your Choice”
All Good Books Are Catholic Books

Una M. Cadegan

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines efforts by Catholics to influence the content of American popular culture, such as motion pictures and all-fiction “pulp” magazines. It first discusses the perceptions of believers and nonbelievers alike regarding Catholicism's views of the place of literary art and intellectual freedom in the world as compared with those fostered by American culture. It then explores the public rationales developed by Catholics to justify their involvement in the control of popular media, revealing a fully articulated understanding of the relationship of Catholicism with American culture and, by extension, with modernity. It also considers the impact of the Legion of Decency, the Production Code Administration, and the National Organization for Decent Literature on the motion picture industry. The chapter concludes with an analysis of how debates over Catholic control of print and of popular media drew on and reconfigured the basic elements and ideas of Catholic literary culture.

Keywords:   popular culture, motion pictures, pulp magazines, Catholicism, literary art, intellectual freedom, Legion of Decency, Production Code Administration, National Organization for Decent Literature, Catholic literary culture

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