Pure Visionary by Allan Carlson

Pure Visionary

The Life & Times of Anthony Comstock, Moral Crusader

by Allan Carlson

The foes of nineteenth-century purity crusader Anthony Comstock commonly spoke in fulminations. His “free love” contemporary D. M. Bennett called Comstock “a first-class Torquemada” who had shown “the same energy, the same cruelty, [and] the same intolerance” as “the envenomed persecutors of the past centuries.” Bennett continued: “It is seriously doubted whether the church has ever had a cruel zealot in its employ who has labored with more resolution and zest than this active agent of the Young Men’s Christian Association.” Another “free love” advocate, Ezra Hervey . . .