Books ranging from classics such as A Farewell to Arms, Lord of the Rings, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Color Purple as well as best-selling books such as Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret, titles in the Harry Potter series, and various books by bestselling novelist Stephen King have all been on the banned books list. What was the content that got them banned, who wanted them banned, and did the ban have the desired effect of minimizing the number of people who read the title—or did it have the opposite effect, inadvertently creating an even larger readership for the book?
Silenced in the Library: Banned Books in America provides a comprehensive examination of the challenges to major books as well as the final results of these selections being deemed “unfit for public consumption.” Included in its discussion are explanations of the true nature of the objections along with the motives of the authors, publishers, and major proponents of the books. Content is organized based on why the books were banned, such as sexual content, drug use, or religious objections. This approach helps readers to see trends in how people have approached the challenge of evaluating what is “proper” and shows how our societal consensus of what is acceptable has evolved over the years. Readers will come away with a fuller appreciation of the immense power of words on a page—or an eReader device—to inflame and outrage, influence opinion, incite thought, and even change the course of history.
- Provides readers with a broad understanding of the different levels of censorship
- Puts challenges to books into historical context of societal standards and current events
- Takes both historical and literary perspectives, recognizing the lasting cultural influences of texts and their literary significance
- Presents biographical background of major authors who have been challenged
- Identifies the source and explains the result of challenges to the most important or influential banned books
- Compares challenges to controversial books against similar challenges to controversial films, television shows, and video games