Frauds Exposed; or, How the People are Deceived and Robbed, and the Youth Corrupted
Place Published: New York
Publisher: J. Howard Brown
Date Published: 1880
Description: Being a Full Exposure of Various Schemes operated through the Mails, and unearthed by the Author in Seven Years' Service as a Special Agent of the Post Office Department and Secretary and Chief Agent of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. Frontispiece portrait and other b/w illustrations throughout. 576pp. Thick 8vo, attractively bound in contemporary 3/4 black morocco with gilt-stamped spine with red labels; marbled endpapers, t.e.g. New York: J. Howard Brown, (1880). First edition. Leather lightly edge-worn and gilt at top edge spotty, still a very good(+) copy of this remarkably scarce book; pages quite clean.
Comments: Comstock was the self-labeled "weeder in God's garden" who created the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, an institution dedicated to supervising the morality of the public. He helped pass the Comstock Law, which made illegal the delivery or transportation of both "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" material as well as any methods of, or information pertaining to, birth control. George Bernard Shaw used the term "comstockery", meaning "censorship because of perceived obscenity or immorality", after Comstock alerted the New York police to the content of Shaw's play Mrs. Warren's Profession. Shaw remarked that "Comstockery is the world's standing joke at the expense of the United States. Europe likes to hear of such things. It confirms the deep-seated conviction of the Old World that America is a provincial place, a second-rate country-town civilization after all." He aroused intense loathing from early civil liberties groups and intense support from church-based groups worried about public morals. He was a savvy political insider in New York City and was made a special agent of the United States Postal Service, with police powers up to and including the right to carry a weapon. With this power he zealously prosecuted those he suspected of either public distribution of pornography or commercial fraud. He proudly claimed to have driven fifteen persons to suicide in his "fight for the young." He had numerous enemies, and in later years his health was affected by a severe blow to the head from an anonymous attacker. Before his death, Comstock attracted the interest of a young law student, J. Edgar Hoover, interested in his causes and methods. -- WikipediaEdition: First
Condition: very good(+)
Book ID: 228722