Just over 100 years ago, Kansas became one of only a handful of states to establish its own film censorship board. This board controlled screen content in the state for more than 50 years – if you caught a movie in Kansas before the 1970s, you’re likely to have seen a different version than did the rest of America. Gerald Butter’s Banned in Kansas: Motion Picture Censorship, 1915-1966 examines the unique political, social, and economic factors that led to the establishment of the censorship board in Kansas, and examines why censorship legislation was enacted, what the attitudes of Kansans were toward censorship, and why it lasted for half a century.
Around the same time that the Kansas Board of Censorship was formed, the notorious political boss, Thomas J. Pendergast, was just getting involved in Kansas City politics. In 1911, Pendergast became head of the Goats, a faction of the Kansas City Democrats. Over the next fifteen years, he created a powerful political machine that used illegal voting and criminal enforcers to gain power. In 1925, Pendergast took control of Kansas City and ran it as his own personal business. In the 1930s, he received over $30 million annually from gambling, prostitution, and narcotics. In Pendergast! Lawrence Larsen and Nancy Hulston have provided – through extensive research, including use of recently released prison records and previously unavailable family records – a clear look at Pendergast’s life and rise to power.
Banned in Kansas and Pendergast! are both available at Amazon, IndieBound, Barnes&Noble, and on our website, or by calling 800-621-2736.
BANNED IN KANSAS
Motion Picture Censorship, 1915-1966
Gerald R. Butters, Jr.
$24.95 • Paperback: 978-0-8262-2110-0
368 pp. • 14 illus. • 6.13 x 9.25