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http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/banned-books.html

 

here is a great link on books banned in schools and elsewhere. Also notice that Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species comes up. So does Shakespeare and dozens and dozens more, some, I think, don't have any right being banned. Some explanations are very vague and almost unbelievable.

 

For example:

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was banned from classrooms in Midland, Michigan in 1980, due to its portrayal of the Jewish character Shylock. It has been similarly banned in the 1930s in schools in Buffalo and Manchester, NY. Shakespeare's plays have also often been "cleansed" of crude words and phrases. Thomas Bowdler's efforts in his 1818 "Family Shakespeare" gave rise to the word "bowdlerize".

 

and...

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman's famous collection of poetry, was withdrawn in Boston in 1881, after the District Attorney threatened criminal prosecution for the use of explicit language in some poems. The work was later published in Philadelphia.

 

Also mentioned is the Bible, Gone with the wind, etc. etc.

 

What are some of your thoughts about banning books? In the school system, in libraries, anywhere?

 

Here is a site giving some history on the more extremist "book banning," including the famous book burnings:

 

http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/bookburning/21stcentury/21stcentury.htm

 

Also, here is a list of some recently banned books

 

http://books.google.com/books?q=Recent+books+banned&oi=print

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I'm sure there are some good books out there, but those are the exception! We can't take the risk! We must ban every book ever written! It is time to go back to oral tradition!

 

(The absurdity of this I hope would lead to questions about if we were to allow the banning of some books, who decides what is banned and what isn't)

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Well, sometimes booked are banned for the use of the "N" word, and other are out with just one or two slips of profanity. What's funny is that some of these "profanity" books are banned while others are not.

 

I suppose it only takes a few letters from some pissed off reader to get a book out of a school, and a few more to get it out of the state. Mark Twain's Huck Finn is still debated about today! Recently, in the 90s, it was on the top five controversial books. For over 100 years the book hasn't had a peacable market! Other books are banned because of sexuality. Now, turn on a tv and flip through to the music channels and tell me if you can't spot sexuality or profanity within 2 min. I bet you will.

 

Who knows more about the mentality behind book burning?

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Wow. looks like fahrenheit 451 might be prophecy. In my highschool we done an analysis on the book "Train Spotting" by Irvine Welsh. Seriously good book but it would be banned from american schools going by those links. it has : violence, drug abuse(heroin mostly), sex, death, profanity, crime, graphic imagery etc. etc. you really only have to read the first page to see how much of it there is.

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... some' date=' I think, don't have any right being banned. Some explanations are very vague and almost unbelievable.

[/quote']

Very unfair to look at them with today's eyes and pass judgement. Acceptability must be viewed in context.

 

I come from the year 2050, and I laugh when I see that you don't allow books with pictures and stories of naked girls having sex - in your schools. It's all biology. You guys are prudes. ( :cool: See my point?)

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I don't think you guys understand what that list is. It's not a list of banned books but a list of books that have been banned in the past. In Missouri Huck Finn is on the read list for high school juniors and it says the word "nigger" 200+ times. It was banned at one time so it is considered a "banned book"

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I think the time matters, of course. There are still books published that are taken off the shelves, that list doesn't include them. I found a list that had banned books and controversial books banned in the last five years, but I couldn't find it when I checked again.

 

As to the difference in "once-banned" books, most, if not all should be looked at like history. Since it was a book published way in the past, those pissed off parents and administraters who want to ban a book like huck finn because it contains the word nigger is just a way to blow off hot steam. The dangers are so slim; it's like when Shirley Jackson's "the Lottery" was banned right after it was released. The violence depicted in that story comes no where near the language and violence depicted in other contemporary books of the same time; this is a moot point, but also note that the violence was only implied, and the story didn't actually say anything bad, it just had a "feel." Likewise, comparing the books today, including media, language, violence, sex, to me, is more loosely restricted. Even with sex books on the shelf of the local barnes and noble, or stephen king books containing every one of the seven dirty words multiple times, with "once-banned" books on the shelves in books stores, and provacative tv stations like MTV, you still see Huck Finn and books like it being argued over. And, I don't know if this is right, but Huck Finn is still banned in some southern schools.

 

My idea of it is, kids, students, adults, can get whatever they want. They can get whatever book they want, we have the internet, local libraries, and media everywhere, and yet still books are argued about, so one school in the south representing black people, its wrong to keep books with the word "nigger" out because it teaches kids that its okay to use that word. Also, in my opinion, the only affective way of keeping a book out of the hands of the public, is the dictator-powered book burnings. This is effective, because now there is no book to hide. They find it, they burn it.

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Name one book that is currently banned. Just because tax payer money doesn't go towards teaching our kids how best to insult people doesn't mean that the said books are banned and should be burned. Again, I think your misunderstanding what "banned" actually means in this case.

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Because of the supposed inforcement of the first amendment, there are no books currently banned in the U.S...

 

Wikipediahas an excellent coverage of banned books, recent and past, and an archive of links to explore on the matter.

 

Here is a list of books banned in the 1990s and another up to 2000. Although I didn't find a list of books banned in 2006, I know specifically that some southern states or even individual schools have recently banned within the past five years, and several states within the past decade, shown on the link. I can name one book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is a coming of age novel, that was banned within the past 5 years. And I'm certain that there has been more in the past 2 or 3 years. If not officially banned, then challenged so much that the protestors took it into their own hands. This seems to occur quite often. Therefore, that's why there are associations like ALA that host Banned Books Week, and you can buy these books from specialized banned booksellers.

 

As a side note, literally thousands of books are challenged every year just in the US. And, as shown in the wikipedia link, there are HUNDREDS of books that were banned continuously, others continously challenged. My point is that quite of few of these books have won awards or are books of award winning authors. Moreover, you'll also find children's books banned, even the Newberry award winners, a distinguished award for children's literature; one of whom Roald Dahl, the creator of Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory. James and the Giant Peach was actually banned! I can hardly believe some of the reasoning behind it.

 

The first amendment is supposed to given us freedom of speech, relgion, press, and we still challenge books for an issue as simple as

euthanasia., which a lot of us witness by having our pet dog put to sleep.

 

Others for such things as mild horror elements, such as R.L Stines Goosebumps series. (you got to be kidding me)

 

Name one book that is currently banned. Just because tax payer money doesn't go towards teaching our kids how best to insult people doesn't mean that the said books are banned and should be burned. Again, I think your misunderstanding what "banned" actually means in this case.

 

I'm not advocating book burning or book banning in the slightest. I did not say books "should be burned" my final comment in my last post was a pun on what has actually been proven affective. Just my way of conveying discontent.

 

My arguement is not to give you a book that is currently banned. This does not prove my point. I have given more links above as a way of showing the overall ignorance and disregard for rights as shown by those who challenge books.

 

Read this short essay by Kurt Vonnegut.

 

He says

I will read this most vile of all pieces of so-called literature aloud, so that those who dare can feel the full force of it. I recommend that all persons under 14, and all persons under 30 not accompanied by an adult, should leave the room. Those remaining who have heart trouble or respiratory difficulties, or who are prone to commit rape at the slightest provocation, may want to stick their fingers in their ears.

 

He makes an interesting point here with the accusation that books cause people to rape, or do any other type of crime. It's almost scoffable. Could media, television, high school, every-day life be less self-imposing and suggesting of bad behavior? I think not. Because, you see, media, high-school, everyday life, these things are unavoidable. Books only impress themselves on people, their ideas are only conveyed when people open them and read. I particularly like this quotation:

 

"Did you ever hear anyone say, 'That book had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me'?"

---Joseph Henry Jackson

 

Here is the first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." which vonnegut included in his essay. ???? Sound a little funny. I don't care if no books are currently banned in the US. Books are still constantly challenged, and, although Vonnegut is an ass, he makes a point.

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I don't think that books should be banned unless they are truly harmful to society and morality in a genuinely threatening manner. By this I mean that books should only be banned if their focus is to openly and plainly advocate and promote such immoral atrocities as racism, genocide, murder, sex offenses, etc......

 

If people dislike a book to the degree that they feel it should be banned, they should simply dismiss the book and not read it anymore. They shouldn't try and get it banned at the author's expense of not being able to express his ideas and people not being able to read the book.

 

Both reader and author should have the feedom of speech. Thus, readers should be able to criticize a book (or burn it if they absolutely hate it), but authors should have the security of exemption from banning unless their works are in violation of the above stated.

 

People can think for themselves and don't need other people banning a book to say that it's bad. People should formulate their own opinion about a book before joining a book-banning-bandwagon. Books should not be banned because a few people got offended or disliked it or took it so literally that they wanted to ban Harry Potter because they believed it was blasphemy to Christianity.

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Yes, and the people challenging those books also have the right to free speech. I fail to see a problem here; everything seems to be working smoothly.

 

What exactly is so smooth about it? Both parties have the right to free speech yes. However, the ones who are speaking out against the other are openly encroaching on this vested right. Protestors are using their free speech to villify an author's rights to free speech.

 

If people dislike a book to the degree that they feel it should be banned' date=' they should simply dismiss the book and not read it anymore. They shouldn't try and get it banned at the author's expense of not being able to express his ideas and people not being able to read the book.

[/quote']

 

This is exactly right. People, if they are too ignorant to understand, have the right to choose. Not that the protestors are ignorant, they obviously have a reason for what they do. But if it becomes unbelievably outrageous in some cases, which it has, then it is a problem.

 

Your idea is largely the fundamental and ideal one, although it conflicts with your first statement:

 

I don't think that books should be banned unless they are truly harmful to society and morality in a genuinely threatening manner. By this I mean that books should only be banned if their focus is to openly and plainly advocate and promote such immoral atrocities as racism, genocide, murder, sex offenses, etc......

 

You are presenting contrasting ideas. If the book is threatening, then don't the people still have a right to choose. I'll have you know that what's harmful in society is not weighing much on books. In fact, its rarely a problem. I'll mention the only time in recent American history that its ever been a problem. The book, "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, has been linked to the assassination of John Lennon, and the assassination attempt on President Reagan. Is the author responsible? no. Is the book responsible? possibly. The fact of the matter is that Chapman (Lennon's killer) and Hinkley (Reagan), who also stalked President Carter, both had histories of mental illness. It's their obsession with the book that caused them to do it. Okay. I can admit this is a problem. Yet, you don't see it very often, so what's the craze? Also, even in the case of Hinkley, the book wasn't the main "poison" I'll call it. He, in fact, attempts to assassinate the president because of his brain-washing infatuation with the movie "The Taxi Driver." This instance as well as the many deaths and shooting regarding restrictions on video games and the dangers of tv is a much more powerful "harm to society" than any book I can think of. I don't believe that any book even comes close the danger that video games and t.v pose. These are substantial motivators to do crime.

 

A superlative example is those idiot kids who went out and hurt themselves after watching Jackass. Again, the Columbine shootings. Again, the taxi driver... The stimuli responses, urging, and motivation are much more potent in tv than in books because there is proof. And while video games can be said to have its benefits, such as better hand-eye coordination, can this be said to have more benefits than literature and reading? I don't think so.

 

As to immoral atrocities in a book, rape, pornography, racism. These are taboo topics and the author knows it. Generally, he knows what his audience is. I'd like to think that the people who don't approve of this type of literature won't read it, but you always have those that stumble upon it, or even go out of their way to find the book and locate all of the injustices in it. I agree that there is some problem with these "restricted" subjects. I DO NOT, however, agree preventing the people from the exposure of knowledge and oftentimes truth to these books. If we were without these topics in some books, do you really think that society would be better? The reverse repercussions, I think, would be the same if not worse. We would be ignorant and much more suceptible to ideas when presented them.

 

Both reader and author should have the feedom of speech. Thus, readers should be able to criticize a book (or burn it if they absolutely hate it), but authors should have the security of exemption from banning unless their works are in violation of the above stated.

 

If you absolutely revel in fire and just love seeing pages crinkle in the flames, you can burn your fill of books for all I care. Mass book burnings, on the other hand, are NOT acceptable. This is a form of extremist censorship that has no benefits other than for the dictatorship ideal. Preventing free thinking, and free publication of ideas has never lasted in the end. And by preventing these things, along goes the freedom of speech and religion, it's a whole meltdown, as in the case of nazi germany, that rules out freedom altogether.

 

Criticism, to me, is a very natural process when one reads any piece of work. I also love to read what the scholarly critics have to say about my favorite book or play. It's amazing because some books of criticism are actually longer than the actual book they are criticizing. Hamlet, for instance, has so much literary criticism that it outranks any other collective criticism for a single piece of literature.

 

Criticism of books is healthy. To the point of protest for the feeling that this book will cause immediate danger is a different point. Anyone can criticize. Not everyone can devote the time to picket or form groups to get a book off the shelves. What I want to know is why they think the books are the immediate problem. To me they patronize youth, thinking they can't think for themselves rationally. Of course, there are exceptions, and there are measures for keeping such influences away from these exceptions.

 

 

People can think for themselves and don't need other people banning a book to say that it's bad. People should formulate their own opinion about a book before joining a book-banning-bandwagon. Books should not be banned because a few people got offended or disliked it or took it so literally that they wanted to ban Harry Potter because they believed it was blasphemy to Christianity.

 

Again, you have the right idea, but still not sure where you stand. :confused:

 

Harry Potter is an interesting case. So many books sold at the time that it looked like it would outprint the Bible! :eek: It's much easier in this case to see why people were worried. Some of the protests might have been valid, but their explanations weren't. A lot of it was embarassing and downright stupid. In addition, i know kids whose parents won't let them watch or read HP because "it's witchcraft." I mean, only someone of the most thickheadedness and naievity could see past the wonderful story of friendship and hardship and see the devil. I firmly believe that the books are the most furthest away from this notion that I have ever read. The books cannot be judged by headlines and articles and reviews. One has actually go to sit down and see from the book the moral and ideas it conveys. I will disprove and stamp in the dirt any claim demoralizing Harry Potter. The books have boosted youth reading, and boosted younger reader book sales, which is something that can't be faulted. I have yet to read about of group of teenagers forming a cult and performing a sacarifice to bring back "the Dark Lord."

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i know kids whose parents won't let them watch or read HP because "it's witchcraft." I mean, only someone of the most thickheadedness and naievity could see past the wonderful story of friendship and hardship and see the devil.
I've always thought this was particularly disheartening because the books, and many examples of fantasy literature nowadays, don't really portray witchcraft in any form but name only. It's more like the Jedi's Force than anything else, a natural and formulaic energy source, far closer to chemistry than the occult. That leads me to wonder if those who naysay it have actualy read them from a logical perspective (as close as they could get anyway).
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Starbug

 

I am generally more interested in science, religion and politics but decided to check this thread out.

 

One book they could ban that would not bother me one bit is the BIBLE.

 

This book promotes GENOCIDE, an evil deity (yahweh) that demands absolute obedience (1st 3 commandments), chauvanism, racism and portrays 'sex' as a sin.

 

Yet this book has survived for milleniums and has a lot of followers.

Islam is a product of the bible that adheres to the 1st 3 commandments which demands the 'one God concept.

This religion and Christianity have been at war for more than a millenium and we are now dragged into a war with its fanatical followers.

At least I can give them credit for picking the 'right' target which is the headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that is now establishing itself as the New World Order which is capitalism.

Capitalism corrupts governments for these powers to do business in the countries of the world.

 

I am not a communist which I oppose but do believe in DEMOCRATIC socialism according to our Constitutional mandate of a government by the people. Right now, our republican government has made our country a 'dollar' democracy.

 

Mike T

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I've always thought this was particularly disheartening because the books, and many examples of fantasy literature nowadays, don't really portray witchcraft in any form but name only. It's more like the Jedi's Force than anything else, a natural and formulaic energy source, far closer to chemistry than the occult. That leads me to wonder if those who naysay it have actualy read them from a logical perspective (as close as they could get anyway).

 

My thoughts exactly.

 

I am generally more interested in science' date=' religion and politics but decided to check this thread out.

 

One book they could ban that would not bother me one bit is the BIBLE.

 

This book promotes GENOCIDE, an evil deity (yahweh) that demands absolute obedience (1st 3 commandments), chauvanism, racism and portrays 'sex' as a sin.

 

Yet this book has survived for milleniums and has a lot of followers.

Islam is a product of the bible that adheres to the 1st 3 commandments which demands the 'one God concept.

This religion and Christianity have been at war for more than a millenium and we are now dragged into a war with its fanatical followers.[/quote']

 

One thing about this topic is that it isn't excluded to fiction. Non fiction including science, religion, and politics are still very much in the ballpark, and are banned along with the others.

 

The bible is the most perplexing and extraordinary phenomenon I can think of. When you talk about the bible, and especially the terms of its banning, it gets even more convoluted and illogical than normal.

 

As in the case of Martin Luther, he was trying to spread the views of Christianity. So, if you read a little into the history of the bible, you'll find it has been banned often and severely throughout history.

 

I believe religion is an asset to the world. You can call it BS, you can call it unhealthy. Whatever, you can call it whatever you want. Without religion, the world would be in continual chaos. Religion is important for a high percentage of the world's population, you can't deny that. It's what a lot of people rely on their entire lives, you can't deny that. Anyway, it's a different argument. The fact is that the Bible stays because everyone wants it to stay, and even the greatest efforst of a few radicals and atheists couldn't rid the world of it. It's foolish even to try because a sense of religion is present in everyone, even if you don't believe in god.

 

I do know what you are saying. The bible and other holy books are full of suggestions and ways of life. And unlike any other book, the bible comes outright to tell you to do something. e.g. the 10 commandments. We should be applauding the writers for its success.

 

here is a link I found on one incident in the U.S. of the issue of the Bible up for a possible excommunication.

Bibled Banned!

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  • 15 years later...
On 1/27/2006 at 9:39 AM, starbug1 said:

 

What exactly is so smooth about it? Both parties have the right to free speech yes. However, the ones who are speaking out against the other are openly encroaching on this vested right. Protestors are using their free speech to villify an author's rights to free speech.

 

My son is twelve years old. Asks why it is so important to read Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. And it is difficult for me to answer him unequivocally after many statements that this book had a destructive effect on young people.

Personally, I told him that he can not read if he is not interested, and that the book is not very important and, as everyone says.
I think this book can help a child start making important decisions and taking responsibility.
But I don't like the opinions that revolve around this book. And I do not want my son to become a victim of these very opinions, if you know what I mean.
He is very interested in these murders. I don’t want him to think that he is also capable of this, only after reading this book.
What to do?

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22 minutes ago, Alan Ronney said:

What to do?

Tell him to read if he wants to.  If he reads it he'll be fine.  If he doesn't read it he'll be fine.

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Counterpoint: the point of reading and discussing books is to learn things, so presenting the option to not read the book is like offering the option to not do math, or history, or whatever. Maybe students aren’t the best to judge the value of the curriculum 

5 hours ago, Alan Ronney said:

My son is twelve years old. Asks why it is so important to read Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. And it is difficult for me to answer him unequivocally after many statements that this book had a destructive effect on young people.

What statements?

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On 3/11/2021 at 10:09 PM, swansont said:

Counterpoint: the point of reading and discussing books is to learn things, so presenting the option to not read the book is like offering the option to not do math, or history, or whatever.

That's like saying people should eat shit so they discuss the taste, instead of offering them a banana whose taste they can discuss without getting sick.

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37 minutes ago, Roamer said:

That's like saying people should eat shit so they discuss the taste, instead of offering them a banana whose taste they can discuss without getting sick.

No, it’s not really like that at all.

You might not like the book (my reaction to it was “meh”) but it has literary value and there are themes to discuss in the context of an English class. So your comparison to eating shit is, well, shit.

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On 3/11/2021 at 7:31 PM, Bufofrog said:

Tell him to read if he wants to.  If he reads it he'll be fine.  If he doesn't read it he'll be fine.

Yes ... it looks like I'm developing a complex of overprotecting a child, something like that. thank you

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8 hours ago, Alan Ronney said:

Yes ... it looks like I'm developing a complex of overprotecting a child, something like that. thank you

Parenting is hard.  The secret is, if you love your children and they know it then 90% of your job is done, IMO.

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