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Samuel Roth (1893 - 1974)

Related: the Roth case - American censorship - Ulysses


Samuel Roth (1893 - 1974) was an American publisher and writer.

In 1927, he published an unauthorized version of Ulysses by James Joyce in the United States which led to him being jailed for publishing obscene material. Joyce later secured a court injunction preventing Roth from the unauthorized use of his work.

Roth also published sections of Joyce's Work in Progress, later known as Finnegan's Wake, and material by D.H. Lawrence and Thomas Hardy in his Two Worlds quarterly, also without the authors' permission.

In 1934, he wrote the anti-Semitic Jews Must Live which blamed his fellow Jews for his failures in business. By this time, he had been to jail three times. He served another prison term from 1936 to 1939.

In 1955, he was prosecuted for sending obscene material through the mail. In Roth v. United States (1957), which upheld Roth's conviction, the United States Supreme Court found that although obscene material was not protected by the First Amendment, art, literature and scientific research were protected, even if they had sexual content. Roth served five more years in prison as a result of his conviction. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Roth [Mar 2006]

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