Banned, Censored or Challenged Books A-I

Posted on October 1, 2009. Filed under: Banned Books |

Since it is banned book week I thought that I would share this list with you. I got it off of banned books.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)by Mark Twain
The word “nigger,” which appears many times in the novel, was the cause for the removal of this classic from an eighth-grade reading list. In the 1950s, the NAACP objected to the book’s perceived racist tone. In 1984, the book was removed from a public high school reading list in Waukegan, Illinois, because a black alderman found the book’s language offensive.

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.”

Andersonville (1955)by MacKinlay Kantor
Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1956, this story of a Confederate prison camp during the Civil War, was viciously attacked throughout the U.S. It was banned in Amarillo, TX.

Annie on My Mind
The Olathe, Kansas school system ordered all copies of this book removed from high school library shelves. It is a story of two women who meet and fall in love and struggle with declaring their homosexuality to family and friends.

As I Lay Dying (1932)by William Faulkner
In 1986, Graves County, Kentucky, the school board banned this book about a poor white family in the midst of crisis, from its high school English reading list because of 7 passages which made reference to God or abortion and used curse words such as “bastard,” “goddam,” and “son of a bitch.” None of the board members had actually read the book.

Atkol Video CatalogWIRED magazine (Feb. 1996) reported that AOL censored Atkol Video’s catalog from its virtual shopping mall for carrying gay titles. AOL gave no censoring criteria when it “cut some titles and retained others.”

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.

The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You To Read (1995)by Tim C. Leedom, Editor
The book traces astrological and mythical origins of modern day western religions. A Barnes & Noble bookstore in San Diego refused to stock this book because of its content.

Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago (1971)by Mike Royko
A Ridgefield, CT school board in 1972 banned this book from the high school reading list, claiming it “dowgrades police departments.”

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
This book was banned and/or challenged more than once. It was banned in Srongsville, Ohio in 1972 and that decision was overturned in 1976. It was also challenged in Dallas, Texas (1974) and again in Snoqualmie, Washington (1979).

Catcher in the Rye (1951)by J. D. Salinger
This is a perennial favorite of censors and has been banned in the U.S. and Australia. In 1960, a Tulsa, OK teacher was fired for putting the book on the 11th grade reading list. The teacher was reinstated, but the book was permanently removed from teaching programs. A Minnesota high school administration was attacked for allowing the book in the school library.

The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1974)by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks
The CIA obtained a court injunction against this book’s publication stating the author, a former CIA employee, violated his contract which states that he cannot write about the CIA without the agency’s approval. First amendment activists opposed this ruling, “raising the question of whether a citizen can sign away his First Amendment rights.” After prolonged litigation, the CIA succeeded in having 168 passages deleted.

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Beauty’s PunishmentBeauty’s Releaseby Anne Rice (under the pseudonym, A.N. Roquelaure, written in the early 1980s)
April 28, 1996, the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch reported that following a complaint from a patron in the Columbus Metropolitan Library removed the trilogy of Rice’s Sleeping Beauty books and their audio tapes after determining the books were pornographic. These same books were also removed from the Lake Lanier Regional Library system in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 1992.

Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
A favorite of censors, this children’s book about gay parenting was the subject of a challenge in the public library. In an all-too-familiar request, a parent complained about references to homosexuality in material for children. The library board voted to uphold basic library principles by retaining the book on its appropriate shelf in the children’s section.

Deadly Deceits (My 25 Years in the CIA) (1983)by Ralph McGheehee
The CIA delayed the publication of this book for three years, objecting to 397 passages, even though much of what the author wrote about was already public knowledge.

Decamerone by Giovanni Boccacio (1313-1375)
In Cincinnati, an “expurgated” version of Boccacio’s Decamerone is confiscated in 1922. In 1926, there is an import ban of the book by the Treasury Department. In 1927, U.S. Customs removes parts of text from the “Ashendene edition” and ships the mutilated copy back to me British publisher in London. In 1932, import ban lifted in Minnesota. In 1934, the New England Watch and Ward Society still bans the book. In 1954, it is still on the black lis tof the “National Organization of Decent Literature.”

Dictionary of American Slang by T.Y. Crowell, publisher
Max Rafferty, California superintendent of public instruction in 1963, and his supporters found over 150 “dirty” passages in the book.

Don’t Call Me Brother by Austin Miles
In 1992, former Christian fundamentalist minister, Austin Miles, was sued; charges were that his book, Don’t Call Me Brother, was “…a vitriolic attack upon organized Christianity.” The $4 million lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court also screamed “libel” and “slander.” After a lengthy and costly process, the court ruled that the book was not defamatory.
1-The Drowning of Stephan Jones by Bette Greene
2-The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton
3-Maurice by E. M. Forster

All three of these books, which treat homosexuality in various ways, were removed from a regional high school. The novels’ purchase was financed by a grant that teacher Penny Culliton received and was approved by the school superintendent and principal. However, shortly after a local newspaper reported that Culliton was involved with a lesbian and gay support group for young people, the books were found unsuitable and were banned. Maurice and The Education of Harriet Hatfield were seized from the students while they were reading the novels in class. Personal attacks on the teacher and demands for her dismissal have been so vehement that her job is now in jeopardy.

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.

Families by Meredith Tax
A young children’s book that creatively describes different family structures, was finally removed by the Fairfax County school board. Meredith Tax’s beloved book had been under attack for a long time, during which many individuals and organizations rose to its defense. What’s more, Families was praised by the board’s own review committees.

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
The county’s board of education decided to remove all school curriculum materials and library books containing any and all “profanity” and “pornography,” both concepts ill-defined. The tremendous public outcry made the board backtrack and resolve to review its selection policy. However, after this conciliatory decision, and while the review process still inches along, most of the books in Andrews’s popular series Flowers in the Attic were removed from the high-school library for “pornographic” content.

Forever by Judy Blume
Forever censored, this wildly popular teen novel was attacked once again for its frank treatment of adolescent sexuality and was removed from an eighth-grade optional reading list. In Rib Lake, Wisconsin, a school district principal had the book removed from the library after confiscating a copy from a student in the lunchroom, finding “graphic descriptions of sex acts.”

Freedom and Order by Henry Steele Commager
The U.S. Information Agency had this book banned from its overseas libraries because of its condemnation of American policies in Vietnam.

From Here to Eternity by James Jones
This book was censored in 1951in Holyoke, Springfield, Massachusetts and in 1953 in Jersey City, New Jersey; blacklisted by National Organization of Decent Literature in 1954.

The Glass Teat (1970)by Harlan Ellison
The Glass Teat is a collection of essays which appeared as columns in the Los Angeles Free Press and Rolling Stone during the 1960s. They were critical essay on the subject of television broadcasting; and essays critical of the president and vice-president. The publisher, Ace Pub. Corp. consequently recalled his book and had it removed from bookstores. Years later it was later re-released.

Grapes of Wrath (1939)by John Steinbeck
Several months after the book’s publication, a St. Louis, MO library ordered 3 copies to be burned for the vulgar words used by its characters. It was also banned in Kansas City and in Oklahoma.

Howl by Allen Ginsberg
Officials of the Cold War era saw only willful destruction of American values in a poet’s grief over suffocating 1950s convention.

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