Barney Rosset: A Crusader Against Censorship Laws | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Barney Rosset: A Crusader Against Censorship Laws

Play associated audio

This interview was originally broadcast on Apr. 9, 1991.

Publisher Barney Rosset, who championed the works of beat poets and defied censors, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Rosset's Grove Press published some of drama's most famous names — including Beckett and Anton Chekhov — and was known for printing books that other publishers wouldn't touch, from uncensored versions of Lady Chatterley's Lover and Tropic of Cancer to a highly profitable line of Victorian spanking porn.

To publish them, Rosset became a crusader against American censorship laws, challenging Postal Service confiscations and fighting obscenity charges all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. His landmark legal cases opened doors for other publishers when he won.

In 1991, Rosset joined Terry Gross for a wide-ranging discussion about his years in the publishing business.

"When I started publishing, I most definitely would have liked to have published Hemingway and Faulkner and Fitzgerald," he said, "but they were already published."


Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Mia Wasikowska On The Sounds Of Camels And The Lure Of Travel

Melissa Block talks with actress Mia Wasikowska about her new film, Tracks, which follows a woman on a long journey with only camels and a dog for company.
NPR

Giving Chickens Bacteria ... To Keep Them Antibiotic Free

What does it take to get chickens off antibiotics? According to Perdue Farms, an added dose of the "good bacteria" known as probiotics can help crowd out the harmful microbes that make a chicken sick.
NPR

Hillary Exhilaration Helps Energize Generation Z

Many young people are excited about the 2016 presidential election — and the chance to make history.
NPR

Some Tech Firms Capitalize On Privacy

Steve Henn of NPR's Planet Money team profiles some entrepreneurs who are working on a novel business model to start up a new tech company. It's pay for service. What a concept.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.