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Banned Books

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on 2 June 2015

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Transcript of Banned Books

Bill Moyers and authors take a stance.
American Library Association celebrates intellectual freedom
These famous works of literary merit have something in common...
30 Years of Banned Books Weeks
Banning Books Today
June 1, 2015
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Start the Fire! Don't put it out!
Let the author speak for himself!
Bradbury's Thoughts...
“Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons—individuals, groups or government officials—find objectionable or dangerous...Censors pressure public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove from public access information they judge inappropriate or dangerous, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it. The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.” - ala.org

- Censorship can also take the form of altering, manipulating, or distorting information

Bradbury claims his motivation for writing
Fahrenheit 451
was to express "his concerns at the time about the threat of book burning in the United States."

Two main reasons for his opposition:
People were ignoring books and seeking other worthless pursuits of entertainment
Censorship had restricted his free will to write what he believed in.

Quoting the author:
“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about it with lit matches.”
“Do not insult me with the beheadings, finger-choppings or the lung-deflations you plan for my works. I need my head to shake or nod, my hand to wave or make into a fist, my lungs to shout or whisper with. I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book.”

The Fahrenheit Fever
What is censorship?
Reason for Ban/Challenge:
offensive language
excessive cursing
sexual overtones
Reason for Ban/Challenge:
coarse vernacular
racial language and
excessive stereotyping
Reason for Ban/Challenge:
excessive vulgar
sexual scenes
excessive violence
"antiwhite" (1960, Ohio)
Reason for Ban/Challenge:
discussion of being
vulgar language
discussion of religion
Reason for Ban/Challenge:
"demoralizing" (1981, North Carolina)
"inappropriate reading" (1983, Arizona)
excessive violence
The Catcher in the Rye
was published on July 16, 1951...
Q: Why do we ban books?
A: Fear.
Wisconsin, 1963: leaders of ban movement cited that the book was
"too sophisticated,
and contained,
"shocking vulgarity
in profusion
, bad language,
a lack of plot"
(Encyclopedia of Censorship).
: a time of REPRESSION in post-WWII America.
Families lost loved ones to the war
Adultery had reached an all-time high
Americans repressed these flaws in order to maintain the image of "the ideal life."
Banned frequently during the 1980s, after the murder of John Lennon.
David Chapman, the murderer, had been carrying an annotated copy of Catcher in the Rye, and confessed that he shot Lennon because he was "being a
," a label that is used throughout the novel by the protagonist.
Critics called the novel, "shocking and inflammatory," following the tragedy.
"criminalizes the
foresting industry"
"teaches children
to lie, spy, talk
back, and curse"
"criminalizes the
foresting industry"
"turns children away
from logging"
"takes too many
liberties with
spelling and
"Basket contains some- thing that resembles a
beer bottle, which
promotes under-
age drinking"
How many
of these apparently controversial children's
These well-known works were once banned by our government!
History of the era leading up to and after
Fahrenheit 451
The Canterbury Tales
(end of 14th century)
The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption
Moll Flanders
Fanny Hill
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The Decameron
Homo Sapiens
Women in Love
The Federal Mafia
My Life and Loves
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Tropic of Cancer
The Grapes of Wrath
Naked Lunch
United States - Vietnam Relations
: 1945-1967 (1971)
Operation Dark Heart

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988)
A Court Case Every Teen Should Know

Nazi Book Burning
Principal of Hazelwood East High School pulled articles relating to divorce and teen pregnancy from
The Spectrum
Supreme Court (5-3): preventing publication of articles is NOT a violation of the First Amendment
School had legitimate interest since it sponsored the paper
Top Reasons for Banning Books:
American Library Association (ALA.org)
The material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
Contained "offensive language"
The materials were "unsuited to any age group"

Captain Underpants
earned the #1 spot...I'd been on the list a few times before, but never at the top, and it came as quite a surprise to me (especially since I beat out
Fifty Shades of Grey
)." - Dav Pilkey

"The overwhelming majority of books cropping up on the ALA’s most challenged list are books written for kids that are deemed age inappropriate for one reason or another." -
The Federalist
Nazis used book burning to bring all Germans under Nazi ideology
Endeavor was spearheaded by Nazi Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda: Joseph Goebbels
Bradbury was fascinated by these book burnings, and it served as a catalyst for him to write
Fahrenheit 451
Full transcript