Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
I often think that American “progress” in growing a culture of enlightened social values means taking three steps back for every one step forward.
One recent, and growing, trend seems to be the Republicans’ taste for banning books. Yes, the very people decrying “Cancel Culture” have decided they need to Make America Great Again by – canceling people’s ability to read books not approved by people worshipping former Pres*dent trump.
It’s so hard to keep the latest wingnut outrages straight, I thought I’d help by making a list.
A Mind Is A Terrible Thing
Any book worth banning is a book worth reading.Isaac Asimov
No one could have predicted that the people who never miss an opportunity to under-finance public schools would also be against people reading books but, they are.
The American Library Association tracks a long list of books that, somewhere in America, at some point past or present, have been banned from libraries and/or schools. I’ll just focus on ten most-banned books. I’ve read several of these, and so can attest to why a political organization that believes a college education turns people into Liberals would ban them. I obviously need to read more.
I am presenting this list of banned books as a public service message. The last thing I want is for people to turn Liberal. So do not read these books!
|Fahrenheit 451||Ray Bradbury||1953||Written during our McCarthy era, Bradbury has said he wrote this book as a commentary on how mass media reduces interest in reading literature. The book is a 1953 dystopian novel which presents a future American society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found. The book’s tagline explains the title as “the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns”: the autoignition temperature of paper. More…|
|The Complete Maus||Art Spiegelman||1991||A nonfiction book presented in graphic novel style. The book depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The work employs postmodernist techniques and represents Jews as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs, Americans as dogs, the British as fish, the French as frogs, and the Swedish as deer. Critics have classified Maus as memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a mix of genres. In 1992, it became the first and so far only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize (Special Award in Letters). More…|
|To Kill a Mockingbird||Harper Lee||1960||A Pulitzer Prize-winning classic of modern American literature. As a Southern Gothic novel and Bildungsroman, the primary themes of this book involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles in the Deep South. In 2006, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one “every adult should read before they die”. More…|
|Nineteen Eighty-Four||George Orwell||1949||Also stylised as “1984,” this book is a dystopian social science fiction novel and cautionary tale. The theme centers on the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance and repressive regimentation of people and behaviours within society. More broadly, the novel examines the role of truth and facts within politics and the ways in which they are manipulated. More…|
|Lord of the Flies||William Golding||1954||This book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves. Themes include the tension between groupthink and individuality, between rational and emotional reactions, and between morality and immorality. In 2005 Time magazine named it as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. More…|
|Animal Farm: George Orwell||George Orwell||1945||This book tells the story of a group of farm animals who rebel against their human farmer, hoping to create a society where the animals can be equal, free, and happy. Ultimately, the rebellion is betrayed, and the farm ends up in a state as bad as it was before, under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon. The original title was “Animal Farm: A Fairy Story,” but U.S. publishers dropped the subtitle when it was published in 1946, and only one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime, the Telugu version, kept it. More…|
|Of Mice and Men||John Steinbeck||1937||This is a novella which narrates the experiences of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in the United States. The title is taken from Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse”, which reads: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley”. (The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.) More…|
|The Hate U Give||Angie Thomas||2017||This is Thomas’s debut novel, expanded from a short story she wrote in college in reaction to the police shooting of Oscar Grant. Thomas attempted to expand readers’ understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as difficulties faced by black Americans who employ code switching. The book was a commercial success, remaining number one on The New York Times young adult best-seller for 50 weeks, and has been one of the most challenged books of 2017, 2018, and 2020. More…|
|Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America||Ibram X. Kendi||2016||This is a non-fiction book about race in the United States, written by American historian Ibram X. Kendi. The book is a New York Times Bestseller and received numerous positive reviews, including starred reviews from Booklist and eight top accolades. In 2020 this book was named the second position of the most banned and challenged books in the United States. More…|
|The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story||Nikole Hannah-Jones||2019||“The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” is a book-length expansion of the essays presented in the 1619 Project issue of The New York Times Magazine in August 2019. The New York Times project is a long-form journalism endeavor developed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, writers from The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine. The project received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, awarded to project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones for her introductory essay. More…|
I am not suggesting that anyone read books on the banned list. By no means should you rush out to your local library and check these books out. Do not attempt to buy these books at your local bookstore. Be aware that anytime someone reads one of these banned books a Republican gets sad. Do not share these books with anyone if you have a copy.
You should also be aware of subliminal advertising that says one thing but means something totally different.
This ends your public service message.