Flash Press Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York

ISBN-10: 0226112349
ISBN-13: 9780226112343
Edition: 2008
List price: $20.00 Buy it from $11.96
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Description: Obscene, libidinous, loathsome, lascivious. Those were just some of the ways critics described the nineteenth-century weeklies that covered and publicized New York City's extensive sexual underworld. Publications like the "Flash "and the"  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 5/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Obscene, libidinous, loathsome, lascivious. Those were just some of the ways critics described the nineteenth-century weeklies that covered and publicized New York City's extensive sexual underworld. Publications like the "Flash "and the" Whip"--distinguished by a captivating brew of lowbrow humor and titillating gossip about prostitutes, theater denizens, and sporting events--were not the sort generally bound in leather for future reference, and despite their popularity with an enthusiastic readership, they quickly receded into almost complete obscurity. Recently, though, two sizable collections of these papers have resurfaced, and in "The Flash Press" three renowned scholars provide a landmark study of their significance as well as a wide selection of their ribald articles and illustrations. Including short tales of urban life, editorials on prostitution, and moralizing rants against homosexuality, these selections epitomize a distinct form of urban journalism,"" Here, in addition to providing a thorough overview of this colorful reportage, its editors, and its audience, the authors examine nineteenth-century ideas of sexuality and freedom that mixed Tom Paine's republicanism with elements of the Marquis de Sade's sexual ideology. They also trace the evolution of censorship and obscenity law, showing how a string of legal battles ultimately led to the demise of the flash papers: editors were hauled into court, sentenced to jail for criminal obscenity and libel, and eventually pushed out of business. But not before they forever changed the debate over public sexuality and freedom of expression in America's most important city.

Timothy J. Gilfoyle is professor of history at Loyola University Chicago where he teaches American urban and social history.  His research has focused on the development and evolution of 19th-century urban underworld subcultures and informal economies.  He is the author of A Pickpocket's Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York; City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920; The Urban Underworld in Late Nineteenth-Century New York: The Autobiography of George Appo; and co-author of The Flash Press: Sporting Men's Weeklies in the 1840s.  Gilfoyle’s interest in urban planning and public space is reflected in Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark. 

Introduction
The Flash Press
Beginnings: Rivalry and Satire
Sexual Politics
Trials and Tribulations
Legacies
Flash Press Excerpts
Purposes
Libertinism
Brothel Life
Heterosexuality
Gossip, Vituperation, and Blackmail
Racism, Anti-Amalgamation
Homosexuality
Indictments
Sports and Theater in the Flash World
The Illustrations of John H. Manning
Acknowledgments
Appendix
Notes
Index

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