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Posts Tagged ‘Banned Books Week

“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us”*…

 

On the occasion of Banned Books Week– which begins today– a short film from the American Library Association on the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016:

Read ’em or weep…

* Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

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As we get out our library cards, we might spare a thought for Theodor Seuss Geisel, AKA “Dr. Seuss”; he died on this date in 1991.  After a fascinating series of early-career explorations, Geisel settled on a style that created what turned out to be the perfect “gateway drug” to book addiction for generations of young readers.

The more that you read,

The more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

The more places you’ll go.

– I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! (1978)

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Written by LW

September 24, 2017 at 1:01 am

“Don’t join the book burners… Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book”*…

 

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country, from which they compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools.

From Persepolis and The Kite Runner to The Bluest Eye and The Perks of Being a Wallflower  the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2014.

* Dwight D. Eisenhower

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As we celebrate Banned Book Week by taking the General’s advice, we might recall that it was on this date last year that thousands of students in Jefferson County, Colorado stayed home to protest School Board action that “edited” the District’s AP History curriculum to “promote patriotism” and not to “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”  Two days later, the School Board backed down.

Student protestors (who will, one hopes, be catching up in spelling class on their return to school)

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Written by LW

October 1, 2015 at 1:01 am

Just Say “Yes!”…

Prohibited prose has been a continuing theme here at (R)D:  c.f., e.g., “And the ban played on…,” “Fahrenheit 451…,” “Got you covered…,” “If we do not meet with agreeable things, we shall at least meet with something new…,” et. al.

Well it’s that time again; it’s National Banned Books Week.  What better time to dip into a taboo title?

Lord knows, the options are plentiful:  Darwin’s Origin of the Species, Thoreau’s On the Duty of Civil Obedience, Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland…  Indeed, according to the 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.  (See the American Library Association’s list of Challenged Classics here.)  For an even longer (and older) list, consult the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books), the list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church (from 1559 until the practice was halted in 1969).

Many, many of them are available via Project Gutenberg and/or as free downloads through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, et al.

Ladies and Gentlemen, to your easy chairs!

As we turn the page, we might recall that it was on this date in 1892 that Joshua Pusey patented the “flexible match”; he then sold his patent to the Diamond Match Trust (which he joined, as patent attorney)– and his design became the first mass-produced paper matchbook.

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Got you covered…

With thanks to reader RS, a terrific post from STWALLSKULL, in honor of Banned Book Week (celebrated here), highlighting the covers of a number of comic books called out by Frederic Wertham in his inflamatory book Seduction of the Innocent, which led to the “Comics Code”– and the banning of several series.

There are some not-so-surprising entries, e.g.:

… and then, some real stoppers:

Read the entire post for the cautionary tale that it is.

As we rinse the ink from our fingers, we might spare a thought for Charles Darwin, who reached James Island (now better known as Santiago Island) in the Galapagos Archipelago on the H.M.S. Beagle on this date in 1835…

James Island as it might have appeared to Darwin as he approached

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Fahrenheit 451…

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores across the U.S. call attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.

Sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores, and endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress, the 2009 celebration of Banned Books Week is this week– September 26 through October 3.

Visit BannedBooksWeek.org for more info– and Just Say No to “No”…

As we remind ourselves that if we don’t use our freedoms we lose them, we might recall that this is a bad day to try to renew one’s visa for India; all government offices are closed in observance of the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi, Indian philosopher and civil rights activist, born on this date in 1869.

If we believe in ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ we will end up being a society of blind, toothless people.
–Gandhi

The Mahatma

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