First Authorized American Printing Of Ulysses

In a landmark decision dated December 6, 1933, Judge John M. Woolsey, United States District Judge, lifted the ban on Ulysses, declaring that "In Ulysses, in spite of its unusual frankness, I do not detect anywhere the leer of the sensualist.

I hold, therefore, that it is not pornographic… Ulysses may therefore be admitted into the United States." The Random House edition took the unusual step of reprinting Judge Woolsey's complete decision, along with a letter from James Joyce to Bennett Cerf, head of Random House, tracing the history of his battle with the censors. The American edition also incorporated a new and memorable design feature which remained linked with the novel for many readers for years to come: the full-page "S" with which the novel opens.

In early February 1932 Sylvia Beach relinquished her publication rights to Ulysses: Joyce was now the sole owner of the world rights to the work. As Joyce looked for publishers for an American edition, he stipulated four conditions (none of which would ultimately be followed!): there was to be no preface, the text must be unabridged and unaltered, the publication was to happen as soon as possible, and the text was to be based on the last (11th) Shakespeare and Company printing and read by an expert proof reader. On 14 March 1932 Joyce signed a contract with Bennett Cerf of New York's Random House to publish Ulysses. At that time Ulysses was still banned in the United States.