The Ironies of Book Banning

Below are excerpts from “List of Banned Books A-I” and “List of Banned Books J-Z.”

American Heritage Dictionary (1969)

In 1978, an Eldon, Missouri library banned the dictionary because it contained 39 “objectionable” words. And, in 1987, the Anchorage School Board banned the dictionary for similar reasons, i.e., having slang definitions for words such as “bed,” “knocker,” and “balls.”

Banned From Public Radio: Humor, Commentary and Smart Remarks Your Government DOESN’T Want You To Hear (1991)

by Michael Graham

The title of this first book is literally true: he was banned from the South Carolina Educational Radio Network courtesy of those geniuses in our General Assembly for commentary which poked fun at their 1991 Ethics Act. Graham also has the distinction of being the only person officially fired from his job as communications director for SC Secretary of State Jim Miles by an act of those same courageous geniuses.

Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

This book is about censorship and those who ban books for fear of creating too much individualism and independent thought. In late 1998, this book was removed from the required reading list of the West Marion High School in Foxworth, Mississippi. A parent complained of the use of the words “God damn” in the book. Subsequently, the superintendent instructed the the teacher to remove the book from the required reading list.

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Toronto School Board banned this classic from all its schools, claiming it was racist for use of the word “niggers.” Even Golding’s Nobel Prize in literature did not protect this author’s book.

Things Your Father Never Taught You

by Robert Masullo Production of this lighthearted look at male grooming was delayed by a born-again Christian art director who objected to a description of Japanese furniture arranging as “occultist.


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