Program

Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

1/1/2007 - 12/31/2007

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)


How the American Civil Liberties Union Shaped U.S. Policy and Culture in the 20th Century

FAIN: FB-52467-06

Leigh Ann Wheeler
Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH 43403-0001)

This book will be the first to explain how, why, and to what effect ACLU activists gradually adopted sexual expression and practice as civil liberties, persuaded juridical bodies to do the same, and joined with state affiliates and commercial media to promote these understandings of sexuality to a broader public. The ACLU helped to define a liberal, rights-based sexual ethos in the U.S., playing a prominent role in nearly every major court decision related to sexuality. By showing how, with regard to sexual issues, the ACLU formulated and revised its own policies, influenced public policy, and shaped mainstream public discourse, LIBERATING SEX will illuminate important sources and shapers of this nation's polarized sexual culture.



Media Coverage

Podcast Interview (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Lillian Calles Berger
Publication: New Books Network
Date: 4/6/2015
Abstract: Podcast interview
URL: http://http://newbooksnetwork.com/leigh-ann-wheeler-how-sex-became-a-civil-liberty-oxford-university-press-2013/

Radio Inteview on Culture Shocks (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Barry Lynn
Publication: Culture Shocks
Date: 2/25/2013
Abstract: Radio interview about my book
URL: http://http://www.cultureshocks.com/shows/2013/02/25/leigh-ann-wheeler/

Interview on Pacifica Radio (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mitch Jeserich
Publication: Pacifica Radio, Letters and Politics
Date: 3/26/2013
Abstract: Radio interview about my book
URL: http://https://kpfa.org/episode/90096/

"How Porn Became a Civil Right" (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Tracy Clark-Flory
Publication: Salon.com
Date: 11/24/2012
Abstract: summary of book and material from interview with me
URL: http://http://www.salon.com/2012/11/25/how_porn_became_a_civil_right/

How Sex Became a Civil Liberty--Book Salon Preview (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Nancy L. Cohen
Publication: Firedoglake Book Salon
Date: 1/13/2013
Abstract: online discussion of my book hosted by Nancy L. Cohen and joined by listeners
URL: http://https://shadowproof.com/2013/01/13/how-sex-became-a-civil-liberty-book-salon-preview/

"Did You Know the ACLU Was Founded by a Bunch of Pervs?" (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mollie Hemmingway
Publication: Ricochet
Date: 12/12/2012
Abstract: article based on my book
URL: http://https://ricochet.com/archives/did-you-know-the-aclu-was-founded-by-a-bunch-of-pervs/

book review (Review)
Author(s): Robin C. Henry
Publication: Historian
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: 2016

"Individual Losses to Movement Victories: How Sex Became a Civil Liberty" (Review)
Author(s): Dara E. Purvis
Publication: Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: 2014

book review (Review)
Author(s): no author
Publication: Harvard Law Review
Date: 7/19/2016

"Struggles for Citizenship: Gender, Sexuality, and the State (Then and Now)" (Review)
Author(s): Natasha Zaretsky
Publication: Journal of Women's History
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: October 2013

book review (Review)
Author(s): M. J. Brustman
Publication: Library Journal
Date: 7/19/2016

"New Trove of ACLU Papers Opens at Mudd Library" (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Merrell Noden
Publication: Princeton Alumni Weekly
Date: 7/11/2012
Abstract: advance notice of forthcoming book and quotations from me
URL: http://https://paw.princeton.edu/article/new-trove-aclu-papers-opens-mudd-library

"This is What Americans Used to Consider Obscene" (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Olivia B. Waxman
Publication: Time
Date: 6/21/2016
Abstract: Time online interview
URL: http://https://www.yahoo.com/news/americans-used-consider-obscene-160027969.html

book review (Review)
Author(s): Susan M. Hartmann
Publication: Journal of American Studies
Date: 2/18/2014

book review (Review)
Author(s): Whitney Strub
Publication: Journal of American History
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: 2014

book review (Review)
Author(s): Alison M. Parker
Publication: Reviews in American History
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: 2014

book review (Review)
Author(s): Laura Weinrib
Publication: Law and History Review
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: August 2014

"The Personal is Political: On Twentieth-Century Activist Lawyers in the United States" (Review)
Author(s): Michael McCann
Publication: Tulsa Law Review
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: 2013

book review (Review)
Author(s): Liam Lair
Publication: Oral History Review
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: summer/fall 2015

book review (Review)
Author(s): Joan M. Burda
Publication: New York Journal of Books
Date: 12/1/2012
Abstract: book review
URL: http://http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/how-sex-became-civil-liberty

"Wheeler, 'How Sex Became a Civil Liberty" (Review)
Author(s): Mark L. Movsesian
Publication: Center for Law and Religion Forum
Date: 12/20/2012
Abstract: book review

book review (Review)
Author(s): Judy Kutulas
Publication: Ameircan Historical Review
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: December 2013

book review (Review)
Author(s): Leandra Zarnow
Publication: Women and Social Movements
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: 2014

book review (Review)
Author(s): Robyn L. Rosen
Publication: Social Forces
Date: 7/9/2013

"On Libertines" (Review)
Author(s): Amy L. Wax
Publication: First Things
Date: 7/19/2016
Abstract: October 2013

"The Big Idea: How Sex Became a Civil Liberty" (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Leigh Ann Wheeler
Publication: The Daily Beast
Date: 5/31/2013
Abstract: online journal--summary of book arguments
URL: http://http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/31/the-big-idea-how-sex-became-a-civil-right.html

"Choices and Rights, Children and Murder" (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Leigh Ann Wheeler
Publication: Oxford University Press Blog
Date: 1/22/2013
Abstract: op-ed
URL: http://http://blog.oup.com/2013/01/roe-v-wade-choices-rights-children-murder/

book review (Review)
Author(s): Serena Mayeri
Publication: Legal History: Jotwell, The Journal of Things We Like (Lots)
Date: 4/2/2014
Abstract: book review
URL: http://http://legalhist.jotwell.com/sex-and-civil-liberties/

book review (Review)
Author(s): Joe Smith
Publication: The Gospel Coalition
Date: 10/21/2013
Abstract: book review--also picked up by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website but cannot locate URL
URL: http://https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how_sex_became_a_civil_liberty

book review (Review)
Author(s): Hennie Weiss
Publication: metapsychology online reviews
Date: 10/15/2013
Abstract: book review
URL: http://http://metapsychology.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=book&id=7003

"Debbie Nathan on How Sex Became a Civil Liberty" (Review)
Author(s): Debbie Nathan
Publication: Reason.com
Date: 12/1/2012
Abstract: book review
URL: http://http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/01/debbie-nathan-on-how-sex-became-a-civil



Associated Products

How Sex Became a Civil Liberty (Book)
Title: How Sex Became a Civil Liberty
Author: Leigh Ann Wheeler
Editor: Susan Ferber
Abstract: How Sex Became a Civil Liberty is the first book to show how and why we have come to see sexual expression, sexual practice, and sexual privacy as fundamental rights. Using rich archival sources and oral interviews, this book shows how the private lives of women and men in the American Civil Liberties Union shaped their understanding of sexual rights as they built the constitutional foundation for the twentieth-century's sexual revolutions. The book introduces readers to a number of fascinating figures, including ACLU founders Crystal Eastman and Roger Baldwin; nudists, victims of involuntary sterilization, and others who appealed to the organization for help; as well as attorneys like Dorothy Kenyon, Harriet Pilpel, and Melvin Wulf, who pushed the ACLU to tackle such controversial issues as abortion and homosexuality. It demonstrates how their work with the American Birth Control League, Planned Parenthood Federation, and other organizations influenced the ACLU's agenda. How Sex Became a Civil Liberty explores the ACLU's prominent role in major court decisions related to sexuality while examining how the ACLU also promoted its agenda through grassroots activism, political action, and public education. It shows how the ACLU helped to collapse distinctions between public and private in ways that privileged access to sexual expression over protection from it. Thanks largely to the organization's work, abortion and birth control are legal, coerced sterilization is rare, sexually explicit material is readily available, and gay rights are becoming a reality. But this book does not simply applaud the creation of a sex-saturated culture and the arming of citizens with sexual rights; it shows how hard-won rights for some also impinged upon freedoms held dear by others.
Year: 2013
Primary URL: http://https://www.worldcat.org/title/how-sex-became-a-civil-liberty/oclc/783862008&referer=brief_results
Primary URL Description: worldcat
Secondary URL: http://www.amazon.com/How-Sex-Became-Civil-Liberty/dp/0199754233
Secondary URL Description: Amazon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780199754236
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes