Banned Books Week | Conflagration

By Jenn D. RSS Fri, September 28, 2018

As we close out our Banned Books Week 2018 coverage, here's a "Fun" fact:

According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.

For those incredulous at this 46% statistic, let’s pull out some of those 100 classic titles. The following 10 works have been not only censored, but literally burned:

  • Ulysses by James Joyce
    Earliest noted burning, in the U.S., in 1918; also burned in Ireland, Canada, and England in the 1920s.
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    Burned by the Nazis in Germany, 1933
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    Burned by the Nazis in Germany, 1933
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    Burned by the Nazis because of Sinclair’s socialist views, 1933
  • An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
    Burned by the Nazis because it “deals with low love affairs”, 1933
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
    Burned by the Nazis, 1933
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    Burned by the East St. Louis, IL Public Library, 1939. This, FORTUNATELY, is the only one on the list that is recorded as having    been burned by a LIBRARY.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    Challenged in many communities, and burned in Drake, ND, 1973
  • Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
    Burned in West Yorkshire, England, 1989
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Burned in Alamagordo, NM outside Christ Community Church along with other Tolkien novels as satanic.


Here’s to books, words, and the freedom to read widely and often!

And to libraries, especially contemporary public libraries that provide access to books—for free—to everyone.

Read on!

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