Wednesday, 2 February 2011


ISBN-13: 978-1-57392-881-X
Writer: Philip D. Harvey
Title: The Government vs. Erotica
Subtitle: The Siege of Adam & Eve
Foreword: Nadine Strossen
Language: English
Place of Publication: Amherst, N.Y.
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Year of Publication: 2001
Format: 153x235mm
Pages: 296 printed on acid-free paper; bibliography, 287; index, 291
Illustrations: 11 black & white pictures, sketches and tables
Front Cover Image: JMS Productions/Artville/Picture Quest
Jacket Design: Grace M. Conti-Zilsberger
Binding: Boards in colour dust jacket
Weight: 630gr.
Entry No.: 2011003
Entry Date: 2nd February 2011


In 1986, a small mail-order company was invaded by thirty-seven armed law enforcement agents who instantly shut down all operations, herded the employees into a warehouse, and systematically interrogated everyone, allowing them to leave only after subpoenas were distributed. Although this episode may sound like a police action in the former East Germany, it was in fact implemented by the U.S. Department of Justice, then headed by Edwin Meese, against Adam & Eve, a North Carolina business that sells contraceptives, sex toys, and adult videos. Now, the company’s owner, Phil Harvey, offers a firsthand account of this David-and-Goliath battle, The Government vs. Erotica goes to the heart of our national debate over First Amendment freedom of expression versus government attempts to limit the availability of erotic materials.

Harvey’s personal memoir of an eight-year struggle –eventually victorious –against  the strong-arm tactics of the Justice Department raises important questions about federal abuse of power, the slow erosion of First Amendment rights through government intimidation, the effects of pornography, the archaic laws that attempt to regulate sexuality between consenting adults, the class-war implications of this battle, and the relationship between sex and religion.

The Government vs. Erotica provides a detailed account of the inner workings of the legal process and of the feisty owners and managers of a small company determined to stand up for their rights. This controlled, yet suspenseful and humorous story is a wake-up call for all who would be complacent about their First Amendment rights.

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