(p. 19) Over all, Leonard emphasizes a darker side of postal history, from the corruption scandals that periodically erupted after Andrew Jackson politicized the service, creating a gargantuan patronage machine, to oppressive government censorship campaigns. He devotes much of a chapter to Anthony Comstock, the longtime postal inspector and self-styled “weeder in God’s garden,” who banned and prosecuted the mailing of birth control pamphlets, “marriage aids” and “indecent” literary works like Walt Whitman’s poems, lest they pollute public morals. Still another chapter charts the spree of mass killings by overworked, underpaid and aggrieved postal workers in the 1980s and early 1990s.
For the full review, see:
LISA McGIRR. “We Had Mail.” The New York Times Book Review (Sun., JULY 10, 2016): 19.
(Note: the online version of the review has the date JULY 8, 2016, and has the title “Two Books Recount How Our Postal System Created a Communications Revolution.”)
The book under review, is:
Leonard, Devin. Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service. New York: Grove Press, 2016.