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sweetsweetstephy's avatar

Are there any banned books out there?

Asked by sweetsweetstephy (338points) April 12th, 2011

I know that there are a lot of challenged books, but are there schools that don’t allow some books to be read by a class or circulated in their library? I know that academic freedom doesn’t lie within the teachers’ power but rather the school/university. I am just wondering whether or not there are schools that don’t want certain materials to be taught…

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25 Answers

Mozart's avatar

Wikipedia has this, which may be helpful.

KateTheGreat's avatar

The Turner Diaries. It’s pretty much banned everywhere, but I’ve got it :D

Winters's avatar

Rage by Stephen King under the pseudonym Richard Bachman

fundevogel's avatar

It don’t think omitting certain books from a library is the same as banning a book. Libraries curate their collections. They search out certain books and certain types of books in an attempt to create a collection they think best suits their patrons’ needs. Curating as a rule involves omitting certain materials when they are determined not to suit the needs of the collection because of their quality, purpose or redundancy. But being omitted from a library collection is a far cry from being banned (even when the omission is questionable). People are still free to buy, read and share any book they want, regardless of if it is included in a library or omitted from school curriculum.

On a related note certain religious advocacy groups have habit of donating large quantities of church published books coughmormonscough in hopes of employing libraries to spread their religion. Libraries are of course not supposed to push specific political or religious agendas and they do evaluate donated books before adding them to their collection. I read an article recently (which I sadly can’t find) about a Christian group that was outraged that a library had rejected their donation of homophobic children’s books.

If you’re interested in how books are included or excluded from a library I recommend looking up their donations policy.

Drewseph's avatar

@KatetheGreat – Wow, are you a white nationalist? LOL, just wondering… Also, I was reading about that book and it said that it may have inspired the Oklahoma City Bombing!

SuperMouse's avatar

@Winters is that the short story about the shooting in a high school classroom?

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Drewseph No, I’m Russian. I just like owning things with a story behind them.

rebbel's avatar

Just today i heard about the two gay penguins book that tops the banned book list.
Which makes sense of course, i mean, come on, gay penguins, raising a orphaned baby penguin. (tilde)

I see you writing an answer, @janbb, no offense against penguins ;-)

janbb's avatar

There have been and are many instances of books being banned from libraries or schools usually after parents or patrons complain to the school or board. THe Amerian Library Association is against the banning of books after a librarian has selected them for inclusion; as has been said, that is not the same as not buying some books in the first place. In November, there is a celebration of books that have been banned with many libraries displaying copies and lists of previously banned books.

Some books that have been banned are Harry Potter, Huckleberry Finn, The Chocolate War and His Dark Materials.

Jeruba's avatar

ABFFE maintains lists of banned books and actively promotes freedom of expression. They ran a campaign called “Muggles for Harry Potter” when the Rowling books were banned in some communities.

MacBean's avatar

@SuperMouse It’s not a short story but, yeah, that’s what it’s about.

SuperMouse's avatar

@MacBean thanks! I read it as part of a compilation called The Bachman Books if I remember correctly, I didn’t realize they were four full books. Saved by the lock in his pocket if memory serves.

faye's avatar

I had to check about the content of the book before someone commented and I see you can buy The Bachman Books (includes Rage) new and used from

Winters's avatar

Yes, you can buy Rage, but to get one of the original copies costs a shitload of money, (anywhere from $100—$500). Stephen King actually banned making anymore new copies after he felt that that book was partially the drive for several school shootings.

Most the other Bachman novels are not considered controversial though and many are still printed. Personally, I believe that King wrote many of his best novels as Bachman

SuperMouse's avatar

@winters that makes me sad that I got rid of my copy of The Bachman Books! I read it over 20 years ago and still remember that story.

Winters's avatar

@SuperMouse fortunately, there are a lot of sites that you can read it for free

GladysMensch's avatar

Wife’s a librarian. There are books that have been “challenged”, but I don’t know of any that have been outright banned across the United States. I consider a banned book one that would be illegal to own, rent or purchase in the United States. I know of no books that have this distinction. A challenged book is one which has been requested for removal from a library or collection. There are hundreds of these books, and some have been removed from particular libraries for any number of reasons. These books may be unavailable in certain libraries, but that doesn’t make them banned. You can still own these books, and in most cases, get them from another library.

mattbrowne's avatar

Der Kampf is banned in Germany.

fundevogel's avatar

@mattbrowne I don’t get that.

Seems silly banning books. It lends them authority when a governing body officially declares that just reading them poses a threat. Better to keep it all in the open and let people sort things out on their actual merits. Though it is a bit of a thrill to read a book that has been banned, it feels a little revolutionary. Well, reading Cancer Ward did, I guess that probably wouldn’t be the case with Mein Kampf.

buster's avatar

Hardback books were banned in the jail I was in because contraband was smuggled into jail in the binding or hid in the binding after the book was in jail. Also
inmates would beat other inmates or correctional officers with them. A couple of hardback bibles tied up in a sheet can be a brutal weapon.

Jeruba's avatar

Mein Kampf, maybe?

mattbrowne's avatar

Sorry, yes, I meant Mein Kampf. It is banned in Germany.

TheIntern55's avatar

There aren’t any in the U.S, I believe. That would violate our right to freedom of press.

flutherother's avatar

You will find an interesting list here

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