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Ban This Filth!: Letters From the Mary Whitehouse Archive Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012


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Ban This Filth!: Letters From the Mary Whitehouse Archive + Behind the Scenes at the BBFC: Film Classification from the Silver Screen to the Digital Age
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (1 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571281494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571281497
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 381,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A splendidly entertaining book... finds the morality campaigner comically wrong on many matters but impressively prescient about pornography and paedophile TV personalities.' --Mark Lawson, Guardian Books of the Year

Hilarious but timely selection of letters for the Mary Whitehouse archive. -- The Sunday Times 'Must Read'

A fascinating time capsule from an age gone by. --Mail on Sunday

Book Description

The filth and the fury from the Mary Whitehouse archive! The birth of British pop culture and the swinging sixties told through outraged letters and angry campaigns.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Edward Lawrence on 27 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mary Whitehouse loomed large over my childhood by forever, it seemed, trying to ban my favourite show - Doctor Who. As I sat there blissfully unaware of the detrimental effect of viewing "obscene vegetable matter" or a particular freeze frame of Tom Baker drowning, Mary Whitehouse was on the case. She bombarded anyone who would listen (and many who would not) with letters of complaint. This book collects some of the most amusing and although she often condemns herself in print (particularly in her early days of activism when she could be viewed as both racist and homophobic) this book is not a hatchet job. Some of her criticisms carry a greater weight today - in particular there is a piece early on about Gary Glitter lyrics which, in retrospect....well, you get the picture. I would highly recommend this book as an amusing, eye-opening read about cultural history and a window into a world of everyday activism which, at once, seems almost impossibly distant in time but very relevant to today.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Edwards on 31 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic purchase, and a facinating insight into British social and moral history. Bought a second copy as a birthday gift for a friend.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. R. G. Sedgwick on 27 Dec 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Highly entertaining read for those who lived through Mrs Whitehouse's era of letterwriting...possibly an insight into a lost world for the email-only generation. A tad wordy in its style (the writer loves his complex sentences...) but a thorough and sometimes biting overview of an uptight, Daily Mail-reading woman who was already thirty years too late by the time she wrote her first letter.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like a lot of people who grew up in the 1970s, I have always felt that Mary Whitehouse was a prudish, fun-hating bigot on the wrong side of just about every issue she got involved with. I can't say this book changed my mind about her, but I was left with respect for the fact she stood up for what she believed in, and never gave up her point. She comes out of the book as a more complex character than one might have thought, but hardly more likeable (although some of her antagonists were supercilious and patronising to the extent that there were a couple of instances in the book where I felt myself cheering Mary on). The irony is that while Mrs Whitehouse was getting aerated about what was being broadcast, we now know that far worse was going on behind the scenes of British light entertainment, and probably had been for some time.

Anyway, this is a highly entertaining read which tells you a lot about the state of British culture in the 70s and 80s, about the British right of the same period - and about just how ghastly some of the bien pensant cultural panjundrums of the era could be.
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By traveller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Jan 2014
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I found this quite a difficult book to 'get into' but otherwise it provides an insight into how Mary Whitehouse and her organisation came to prominence, and the concerns they raised about TV content. It also reflects how society changed from the 1960s to the 1980s and beyond regarding TV programme content.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matt W on 24 Dec 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Certainly provides insight into the changes in what's viewed as 'acceptable' in popular culture over the last couple of generations. Finished the book with a feeling we have become more tolerant in many ways (for the better) but much more 'moralistic' since the end of the 20th Century with regard to aspects of ethics that were of no concern to the subject.

She really was an interesting character.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marts on 8 Jan 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for a friend, I must say as I thought it would be quite funny given the focus on the correspondence. However I am told that whilst it wasn't as light in that respect it was very interesting. In particular I am told that she quite often saw controversial things that weren't there and her letters were full of freudian slips! Another aspect that is perhaps overlooked is how some of her warnings were arguably a portent of problems to come with light touch regulation of some channels.
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