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Banned Books Information and Resources: Banned Books

Freedom To Read Statement (1953)

"We state these propositions neither lightly not as easy generalizations. We her stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cheishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositioins may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas can be fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours."

Rye, New York

1953

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A History of Banned Books (essay)

Essay by Jennifer Magelky

The banning of books has its origins as far back as 450 B.C., when Anaxagoras wrote that he thought the sun was a “white hot stone and that the moon reflected the sun's rays.” His writings were deemed “derogatory” to the gods, forcing his departure from Athens and the burning of all of his writings. Since that time, decisions about book bannings often have turned on the definition of what is derogatory... [Read the entire essay here]

History of Banned Books Censorship: A Short Timeline

History of Banned Books Censorship, A Short Timeline

By , About.com Guide

Many of the books we now consider classics were once banned by federal, state, and local governments in an effort to keep undesirable influences out of the mainstream American consciousness. It didn't work. You can thank the First Amendment—and centuries of activism by authors, publishers, and supporters who took considerable risks to make banned books available to readers. [Continue to the essay]

Censorship Timeline Outline

A graphical outline of censorship by Jeremy Norman.  Source: From Cave Paintings to the Internet

Censorship Timeline Outline

 

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Banned & Challanged Classics

According to the American Library Associations'  Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.The titles below represent banned or challenged books on that list ( see the entire Radcliffe Publishing Course list here). For more information on why these books were challenged, visit challenged classics and the Banned Books Week Web site.The titles not included may have been banned or challenged, but we have not received any reports on them. If you have information about the banning or challenging of these (or any) titles, please contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom. - Retrieved From:  http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics

  • 1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • 2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  • 3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  • 4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • 5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  • 6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
  • 7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  • 8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  • 9. 1984, by George Orwell
  • 11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
  • 12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  • 15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
  • 16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  • 17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
  • 18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
  • 19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
  • 20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
  • 23. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  • 24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  • 25. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  • 26. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
  • 27. Native Son, by Richard Wright
  • 28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey
  • 29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • 30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
  • 33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
  • 36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
  • 38. All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
  • 40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • 45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
  • 48. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
  • 49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
  • 50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
  • 53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
  • 55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
  • 57. Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
  • 64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
  • 66. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • 67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
  • 73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
  • 74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
  • 75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
  • 80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
  • 84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
  • 88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
  • 97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike