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"Tropic of Cancer" Banned in Massachusetts

Nov. 13, 1961 - The novel “Tropic of Cancer” was banned in Massachusetts today. Superior Court Judge Lewis Goldberg described Henry Miller’s novel as “obscene, indecent, and impure.” The judge’s ruling resulted from a three-day trial during which State Attorney General Edward J. McCormack Jr. urged that sale of the book be prohibited. Judge Goldberg said the novel contained “no connected plot.” “It is largely the tale of the sex experiences of an American in Paris who went to that city in the hope of becoming a writer and who lived the life of a down-and-outer, sponging on friends and acquaintances,” the judge said. He said the book “graphically describes sex episodes with almost minute details. It is in many respects filthy, disgusting, nauseating, and offensive to good taste.”


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