The Law: Premature Obscenity

DON'T SEND ME TO PRISON cried the full-page ad in the New York Times, but that last desperate appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be in vain. Ralph Ginzburg, huckster-publisher of diverse periodicals (including the defunct Eros, Avant-Garde, Fact and the current Moneysworth) is due to enter federal prison this week.

In a sense, Ginzburg was a man ahead of the legal times. Eros, his slick, expensively produced "quarterly on the joys of love," was mildly startling in the early '60s, as was its companion biweekly "newsletter of love," Liaison, and a mail-order volume called The Housewife's Handbook on Selective...

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