For many years I have had a love/hate relationship with Banned Books Week.
Since 1982 the American Library Association has been promoting Banned Books Week to celebrate the freedom to read and remind “Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.” I am in full agreement with this. I believe that Truth becomes apparent in the intellectual marketplace when there is a free exchange of ideas. However, almost every freedom must be excercised responsibly or it becomes licentiousness.
Further, I do not believe that the freedom to choose what one will read and the freedom to express one’s ideas in print or in any other way logically entails a restriction upon anyone else to freely choose whether or not to promote or make available that same information.
How crazy would a school administrator have to be to carry the Anarchist’s Cookbook in the school library?
What kind of shepherd would a pastor be who allowed a copy of Benny Hinn’s junk theology book Good Morning Holy Spirit to be placed in a church library.
And, I applaud a seminary president who has the courage to refrain from placing material he believes to be harmful on the seminary website even when it means that he will be in an awkward position with a trustee.
For many years I managed bookstores and trained managers for Borders Books. Almost everyone with whom I worked believed that it was wrong to put any restrictions at all upon what books were placed into circulation in school libraries or used in public classrooms. I simply do not understand that kind of thinking.
There are many books that I believe merit recognition as truly great literature, but that would be completely inappropriate for my eight-year old son.
There are books promoting particular socio-cultural practices that are intended to subvert the values cherished by huge segments of the population. It is irresponsible for librarians and administrator’s to put them into the hands of children who have not yet developed the critical skills to evaluate them and see them for what they are – – propaganda.
So, yes, I guess I continue to have a love/hate relationship with Banned Books Week. If I so choose, I want to be able to read the Bible, the Qur’an, Mein Kampf, or The Philosophy of the Bedroom by the Marquis de Sade. However, I pity the fool who gives a copy of Madonna’s Sex book or Heather Has Two Mommies to one of my children.
Freedom? Yes! Responsibility? Absolutely!
But listen to me, your freedom ends when it makes it impossible for me to freely choose for myself and for my family.
Below are some of the titles that have been listed as “banned” books at some time or other. This list was copied from Wikipedia. However, I should note, that some of these were never actually banned. That’s right. Never. However, someone challenged their propriety at some time or other and as a result someone else declared the end of democracy.
* Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was banned after publication in 1885 by the Concord Public Library on grounds of it being “more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people.” More recently its portrayal of race (including the use of the word nigger as part of a character’s name) has seen many efforts to remove it from school reading lists in the USA.
* The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain was banned from the children’s section of the Brooklyn, New York public library in 1876, the Denver, Colorado public library in the same year, and was banned by some libraries in the USA over objections to the “questionable character” of the main character and racism. It was banned by the Brazilian Government in 1937 as part of a crackdown on communist and subversive works.
* The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine was banned in the UK for blasphemy because of its arguments in favour of Deism and against Christianity. Booksellers and publishers were prosecuted for disseminating it.
* Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was banned in China in 1931 because the talking animals were considered blasphemous to Chinese beliefs.
* The Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor have been banned or challenged in various American school libraries for their sexually explicit content.
* All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque was banned in Nazi Germany and was among the titles set for public burning in 1933.
* Always Running by Luis Rodriguez was banned in school districts including Rockford, Illinois (where it was the first book banned) because of its graphic but realistic depiction of life in a street gang.
* American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis was among the American Library Association’s list of the most banned books for its descriptions of violence against women and minorities. Also the American National Organization of Women urged members to boycott the book and attempts were made to ban it in Canada because of suspected copycat crimes.
* An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser was banned in places such as Boston as it “tended to corrupt the morals of youth.”
* America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show was banned by a Mississippi library because it contained images of Supreme Court Justices’ faces on naked bodies. The ban was overturned after only a day because of public outcry. This ban also helped to propel the book’s sales.
* The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell which contains instructions for manufacturing explosives and telephone hacking devices was among the ALA’s list of the 100 most banned books.
* The Anastasia Krupnik series by Lois Lowry is frequently the subject of banning attempts from school libraries who are concerned that the content is not suitable for children.
* Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor was banned for obscenity.
* Animal Farm by George Orwell was banned in the USSR for anti-communist themes, in some Islamic nations for “religious reasons”. It was also banned in the USA for communist material in its introduction, although the book itself was a vicious satire on Stalinism.
* Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank has been banned or challenged for various reasons including being “a real downer.”
* Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden was banned and copies burned because of its frank depictions of lesbianism (two female students fall in love with each other and discover that one of their teachers is a lesbian) and teenage sexuality.
* Another Country by James Baldwin was banned from some schools who considered it pornographic.
* Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara was attacked by the Watch and Ward Society for its vulgarity and comments on ethnic groups.
* The Art of Love by Ovid was burned in Florence in 1497. The author was also banished from Rome by Augustus because of the book’s subversion of moral reforms.
* The Arabian Nights has been frequently banned in Arab countries, the most recent being in Egypt in 1989.
* Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume was banned in some schools for its characters’ discussion of menstruation and breast development and its perceived anti-Christian themes. Judy Blume is also known as “The most banned author in the U.S.A”.
* Areopagitica by John Milton, a polemic in defence of free speech was published without licence in England and condemned by Parliament.
* Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge featured adult themes and homosexual characters. It was listed among the hundred most banned books by the ALA.
* Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole was banned as it promoted values that some parents disapproved of and considered unsuitable for their children.
* Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher was banned from a school in Grand Rapids, Michigan (and the teacher who taught it dismissed) for using racist language, although the message of the book itself is resolutely anti-racist.
* The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin is one of the ALA’s hundred most banned books, for “social reasons.”
* Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
* The Banditti of the Plains by A. S. Mercer ST: Or the Cattlemen’s Invasion of Wyoming in 1892 (The Crowning Infamy of the Ages). It had many copies destroyed on publication because of its eyewitness accounts of illegal activities and the actions of official forces.
* The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath has been challenged for sexual material and condoning an obscene point of view.
* Beloved by Toni Morrison has been challenged for its language.
* The Biggest Secret and all other books by David Icke are often banned; Indigo Books, for example, was forced to take the books out of the shelves
* Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was banned in South Africa because of the use of the word ‘black’ in the title.
* Black Boy by Richard Wright was banned in American schools in the seventies for “obscenity” and “instigating hatred between the races.”
* Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin was banned for its portrayal of racial tension.
* Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya was banned for profanity and pagan content.
* Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause is frequently challenged for being sexually explicit
* The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution by Roger Williams was banned on religious grounds
* Blubber by Judy Blume is often banned for language and scenes depicting kids being disrespectful to authority figures. Also, the antagonist is never punished.
* The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison was banned for its explicit sexual content.
* The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar was challenged in Nashville because of scenes of sexual exploration (particularly the scene in which a hammer is inserted into a character’s rectum) and for references to witchcraft.
* Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
* Boys of Swithins Hall by Chris Kent teen-aged homoerotica
* Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was banned in Ireland in 1932 for “centering around negative activity”. It’s also banned for language. Some saw this book as anti-family and anti-Christian.
* Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
* Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard ISBN 0-440-41286-2
* Burger’s Daughter by Nadine Gordimer ISBN 0-14-005593-2 banned after the Soweto uprising.
* Call of the Wild by Jack London was banned in Italy in 1929 and also in Yugoslavia in 1929.
* Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce In 1918, the US War Department told the American Library Association to remove books considered “pacifist”, “disturbing”, and “anti-war”, including Ambrose Bierce’s Can Such Things Be? from camp libraries.
* Candide by Voltaire 1930, U.S. Customs seized Harvard-bound copies of Candide.
* The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (Banned for risque subject matter.)
* The Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey. Banned in certain school districts for encouraging kids to disobey authority figures.
* Carrie by Stephen King for depictions of schoolchildren bullying the title character, grisly deaths, sexual references, and bad language.
* The Case for India by Will Durant See Karolides “political” list.
* Cass Timberlane by Sinclair Lewis
* Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (banned for sexual content, depictions of defying authority, profanity, and racially insensitive content)
* The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Banned for profanity, sexual references, and that it “undermines morality.” Also called blasphemous by some because of repeated use of the word “goddam”.)
* The Children of Sanchez by Oscar Lewis (Formerly banned in Mexico for political reasons.)
* Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz blasphemy
* The China-India Border by Alastair Lamb was banned in India for political content.
* The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (Banned for language, depiction of schoolchildren bullying other children, and many references to the protagonist pondering about his sexual orientation.)
* The Christian Commonwealth by John Eliot (missionary) was banned and ordered destroyed by the General Court of Massachusetts, May 22, 1661.
* Church: Charism and Power: Liberation Theology and the Institutional Church by Leonardo Boff
* Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau target of successful banning efforts by Joseph McCarthy
* Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel was banned from the Cascade Middle School library at Eugene, Oregon in 1992 for “hardcore graphic sexual content”.
* A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (Banned from schools for language.)
* Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (Banned on political grounds for sympathetic portrayal of desertion.)
* The Color Purple by Alice Walker
* The Committee by Sean McPhilemy is currently banned in the United Kingdom as it alleges links between senior Unionist politicians (most notably David Trimble) and Loyalist murder gangs that indiscriminately killed Catholics in Northern Ireland.
* The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (Banned for political reasons)
* The Complete Manual of Suicide by Wataru Tsurumi.
* Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Formerly banned in the USA on grounds of obscenity and criticisms of Christianity, especially Protestantism.)
* Crazy Lady by Jane Leslie Conly ISBN 0-06-440571-0
* Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz ST: Superstitions and Other Beliefs
* Cujo by Stephen King (Banned for subject matter and language.)
* XXXX by Stewart Home (Language)
* Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen for advocating witchcraft
* The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Banned in Lebanon after Catholic leaders deemed it offensive to Christianity. Other reasons: historical inaccuracies. But now sold in many languages, including Arabic.)
* Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite ISBN 1-55583-118-4 (Challenged by religious groups for encouraging homosexuality to children.)
* The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys by Chris Fuhrman
* A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
* De revolutionibus orbium coelestium by Nicolaus Copernicus, was placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1616. It was finally removed from the list in 1835.
* Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
* The Dead Zone by Stephen King ALA_2000 (violence and political reasons)
* Death in Venice by Thomas Mann (Banned for its homoerotic theme.)
* The Decameron by Boccaccio (Obscenity.)
* Deenie by Judy Blume for references to female masturbation and menstruation
* Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin (Sexual themes)
* Decent Interval by Frank Snepp ST: An Insider’s Account of Saigon’s Indecent End Told by the CIA’s Chief Strategy Analyst in Vietnam
* The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin for advocating Evolution.
* Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo Galilei was banned by Pope Urban VIII in 1633, as were all other works by Galileo.
* Did Six Million Really Die? by Ernst Zündel (Banned for anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial)
* The Diviners by Margaret Laurence (banned in some Canadian schools on religious grounds)
* Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (Banned in the USSR for criticisms of the abuses of power by the Bolsheviks.)
* Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas
* The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene ISBN 0-553-07437-7 Teenage story, homosexual man is murdered
* Dubliners by James Joyce (Banned in Ireland for language.)
* Earth’s Children (series) by Jean M. Auel (Banned for sexual references, which were described vividly.)
* Eden, Eden, Eden by Pierre Guyotat (banned in France until 1981 for obscenity and graphic violence)
* E for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders for depicting recreational drug use and ways to obtain illegal drugs.
* Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis, banned in Boston and elsewhere for frank depictions of religion and sex
* Encyclopédie, edited by Jean le Rond d’Alembert and Denis Diderot
* Essays by Michel de Montaigne
* The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney for child abduction and mention of Hare Krishna
* Fade by Robert Cormier for references to incest and murder
* Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Copies used in school literature classes were edited to omit the words “hell,” “damn,” and “abortion,” which is ironic because the central theme is censorship.)
* Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers , for rough language and depictions of the Vietnam War
* The Family by Ed Sanders (banned owing to a libel suit by the Process Church of the Final Judgment for linking that church with the Manson Family murders)
* Family Limitation (a pamphlet) by Margaret Sanger the Comstock Law of 1873 which outlawed as obscene the dissemination of contraceptive information and devices.
* Family Secrets by Norma Klein ISBN 0-449-70195-6
* Fanny Hill by John Cleland (Banned for obscenity in Massachusetts until 1966.)
* The Fat Man (book) by Maurice Gee (1933) ISBN 0-689-81182-9 A children’s book that was just ‘too scary for children’; based in New Zealand during the depression.
* Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (1999) Profanity, violent scenes, explicit love scenes.
* Final Exit by Derek Humphry ISBN 0-385-33653-5 Documents suicide techniques and discusses euthanasia.
* Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes Profanity, explicit and “distasteful” love scenes,” references to “sex and drinking,” See everything2.com for some specific bans.
* Flowers in the Attic by Virginia C. Andrews teenaged incest
* Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream by Lerone Bennett, Jr.
* Forever by Judy Blume Challenged for explicit sexual references.
* Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor – 17th century woman sleeps her way to the top
* Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
* Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger (Note: bannings for this book might be for the author rather than the content)
* The XXXX-Up by Arthur Nersesian
* G.B. Jones (book) edited by Steve LaFreniere lesbian soft-core porn drawings. Copies of the book were seized at the Canadian border and it was officially pronounced “Banned In Canada”.
* Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
* The Giver by Lois Lowry (Banned for violent and sexual themes. Some also felt that euthanasia was not an appropriate subject for children, and yet it received a Newbery Medal)
* Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis Fiction. Extensive depictions of violence.
* The Glass Teat by Harlan Ellison Condemnation of the state of television. Included essays critical of the president and vice-president. The publisher, Ace Pub. Corp. consequently recalled the book (in 1960’s), but re-released years later.
* Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks writing as ‘Anonymous’; extended account of drug abuse.
* The Goats (book) by Brock Cole ISBN 0-374-42575-2 (title for scapegoats) Teenaged social outcasts standed on lake island, then run away from camp personnel.
* Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was banned from English classrooms in the Anaheim, California Union High School District in 1978 for using the word “nigger”.
* The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Banned for language and depictions of migrant life. Also cited as socialist propaganda.) 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.
* Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
* Gramatica româna sau macedo-româna (“The Romanian or Macedo-Romanian grammar”) by Mihail G. Boiagi (1813, Vienna). The book was blacklisted and its author excommunicated by the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, because it encouraged Aromanian pupils to learn Aromanian instead of Greek.
* The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson banned in Albemarle County, Virginia, because it used “curse words and God’s name in vain”.
* The Group (book) by Mary McCarthy a sexually outspoken depiction of eight Vassar graduates in the 1930s.
* Gruppa Finlandija by Pentti Syrjä (Finland, 1986) (banning info not yet found)
* Guess What? by Mem Fox chilren’s picture book with a few references to occult (witchcraft)
* The Guide of the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides a philosophical work harmonising and differentiating Aristotelian philosophy and Jewish theology, circa 1200 A.D.
* The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (banned in the USSR for depicting human rights abuses by the Soviet government, particularly in its justice system and prisons.)
* Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam ISBN 0-689-80198-X ABC picture book (targeting 5-year-olds) that makes “I” for icicle-murder
* Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Banned for references to the occult.)
* The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ISBN 0-385-49081-X
* Harmful to Minors by Judith Levine (adolescent sexuality and politics)
* The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (Banned for references to the occult by Michael D. O’Brien and LifeSite.)
* The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (child witchcraft)
* Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad for use of the word nigger and depictions of graphic violence
* Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman (lesbianism)
* The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World by Nawal El Saadawi (challenges women’s traditional roles in Abrahamic religions)
* Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors by pseudonymous author Rex Feral (describes assassination techniques)
* The Hoax of the Twentieth Century by Arthur R. Butz ST: The Case Against The Presumed Extermination Of European Jewry. ISBN 0-9679856-9-2 (Holocaust denial)
* Holy Nature: A Celebration of Naturism in Today’s Russia by Mikhail Rusinov (Banned for political reasons by Amazon.com on-line at http://www.russiannudistnaturist.com.) ISBN 0-9664609-0-1
* The Housekeeper’s Diary: Charles and Diana Before the Breakup by Wendy Berry (1995) (Banned in the UK using employee law – Wendy Berry was a housekeeper for the Royal Family. Revealed embarrassing details about Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s shaky marriage) ISBN 1-56980-057-X
* The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende ALA_2000 (sexual themes and politics)
* The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca (Banned for political reasons.)
* Howl by Allen Ginsberg (Banned for obscenity and depictions of drug use)
* How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell ISBN 0-440-44545-0 ALA_2000 (Main character eating worms as part of a bet was seen as gross and something that could be easily imitated)
* I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier (Banned because some have felt that the book’s complicated structure and pessimistic ending are inappropriate for young people)
* Hochzeit der Menschheit by the esoteric author Rudolf John Gorsleben was forbidden by the Amtsgericht Bremen
* The Hunt for Confederate Gold by Thomas Moore (Banned in Boston and New York because it was considered “[t]oo politically incorrect for mainstream publishers.”)
* The King Never Smiles by Paul M. Handley; banned in Thailand for suggesting that King King Bhumibol Adulyadej has put the preservation of the monarchy above democracy.
* I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Banned for scenes of incest, profanity, and descriptive pornographic language.)
* In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (Banned for single illustration of child nudity.)
* In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen (Banned in the USA for 8 years, critical of FBI investigation of execution of two of its agents by a Native American.)
* Infallible? An Inquiry by Hans Küng rejects the doctrine of papal infallibility
* The Investigator by Reuben Ship Canadian radio play that lampooned HUAC (House Unamerican Activities Committee). Uniformly shunned by USA radio stations throughout the 1950’s.
* The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad (political satire involving Hitler)
* It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris ISBN 1-56402-159-9
* Jack by A.M. Homes
* James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl for depictions of child abuse (James’s aunts abuse him physically and verbally) and the scene where James’s aunts are killed off when the peach rolls away.
* Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso 15th century story about Crusades
* Jenny lives with Eric and Martin by Susanne Bösche
* A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence (banned in some Canadian schools on religious grounds)
* Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (repressed during World War II for its pacifist content)
* The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort for explicit sexual content
* Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy Child murder/suicide.
* Juhannus Dances by Hannu Salama (Banned for blasphemy)
* Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
* L’Histoire de Juliette by the Marquis de Sade (Banned for blasphemy, graphic depictions of sex and violence, and political reasons)
* July’s People by Nadine Gordimer (Banned in its setting, South Africa)
* Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier ISBN 0-440-44323-7 (uses the word “nigger”)
* The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (banned in Chicago and Boston in the early 20th century for political reasons)
* Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
* Kama Sutra for explicit sexual content
* Kiki’s Memoirs by Alice Prin (Kiki de Montparnasse)
* Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan (plot deals with kidnapping a teacher)
* Kill Without Joy!: The Complete How To Kill Book by John Minnery
* The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy (Banned in Russia for being anti-establishment.)
* King & King by Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland (Banned or severely restricted in some United States libraries for its supposedly risqué content, it deals with homosexual themes and affection and is intended for an age 4-8 audience)
* King Lear by William Shakespeare
* Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis
* Land of the Free: A History of the United States by John W. Caughey, John Hope Franklin and Ernest R. May (listed in Karolides “Political” volume)
* Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence Banned in the UK because of explicit sexual content until a celebrated obscenity trial in 1961
* Lajja by Taslima Nasrin (Banned in Bangladesh because its contents might hurt the existing social system and religious sentiments of the people.)
* Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr. (Banned for graphic sexual situations including homosexuality and rape)
* The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis (Banned for religious reasons)
* Lazarillo de Tormes (Banned for religious reasons by the Spanish Inquistion in the 16th century)
* Le feu sous la soutane, by Benjamin Sehene (Banned in Rwanda for being divisionist.)
* Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (Banned for religious reasons and homoerotic themes.)
* Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis (Banned for graphic depictions of sex and drugs.)
* A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (Parents believed a scene in the book encouraged children to break dishes in order to avoid washing them)
* Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman Racial stereotypes.
* Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (Banned for sexual themes)
* Long Hard Road Out Of Hell by Marilyn Manson (sex, drugs, and religion)
* The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (Banned by a school district in California for espousing environmentalism and negatively depicting the lumber industry.)
* Lord of the Flies by William Golding (child murder)
* Lysistrata by Aristophanes (Banned in the United States for indecency. Banned in parts of Europe for anti-war themes.)
* Macbeth by William Shakespeare (graphic violence and witchcraft)
* Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert (formerly banned in France for political reasons and sexual content)
* Magnum Crimen by Viktor Novak See Jasenovac concentration camp
* Main Street by Sinclair Lewis in a town in Minnesota near where it took place
* A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe (religious groups have tried to ban the book in Kenyan schools)
* Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown ISBN 0-684-86418-5 Gritty autobiography of growing up in Harlem, New York City
* Marijuana Myths and Facts by Lynn Zimmer, John P. Morgan. The translation of this book was published in Russia, but is sold only to medical professionals because of restrictive law. The Russian law prohibits distribution to general public of anything that can be considered “a propaganda of narcotic drugs”. The book’s translation, though, is available on the Internet.
* Marks of Identity by Juan Goytisolo Spanish, openly gay author
* Making of a Godol by Nathan Kamenetsky (Mesorah, 2003) (scope of ban is among ultra-Orthodox rabbis)
* Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (not published until after the author’s death because of censorship in Russia)
* Maurice by E.M. Forster (homoerotic themes)
* Les Meditations Metaphysiques by Rene Descartes
* Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (banned for racist material)
* Memoirs of Hecate County by Edmund Wilson Because of the frankly sexual nature of the story “The Princess with the Golden Hair,” the book was suppressed on obscenity charges until 1959, at which time Wilson published a revised edition.
* Mephisto by Klaus Mann
* The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (anti-Semitism)
* Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
* Meyebela, My Bengali Girlhood by Taslima Nasrin (Banned in Bangladesh because “its contents might hurt the existing social system and religious sentiments of the people.”)
* Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (sexual situations)
* The Monk by Matthew Lewis (sexual situations, blasphemy)
* Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole ISBN 0-8118-1319-3
* Mountain Wreath by Petar II Petrović Njegoš
* My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier ISBN 0-590-42792-X
* My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara banned because it contained the word “bitch” referring to a female dog
* My Secret Life by ‘Walter’
* The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS by Michael Fumento
* Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs (drug use, homosexuality)
* Native Son by Richard Wright (violence and rape)
* Nemesis File by Paul Bruce about SAS role in Northern Ireland still banned in Britain
* The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein ISBN 0-06-001273-0
* The Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad
* Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
* Ninety-Five Theses by Martin Luther (Banned for Heresy against the Catholic Church)
* Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
* Oil! by Upton Sinclair
* Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
* On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer ISBN 0-440-46633-4 ALA_2000 (child guilt over accidental child death)
* On the Infinite Universe and Worlds by Giordano Bruno
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
* One of the Guys by Robert Clark Young
* The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade (formerly banned in many countries, including France, Great Britain and the USA, for its depictions of graphic sex and violence)
* Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano an indictment of the exploitation of Latin America by foreign powers
* Ordinary People by Judith Guest (teenaged suicide)
* Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (Banned for illustrating the concept of evolution.)
* The Other Glass Teat by Harlan Ellison See The Glass Teat (critical of the state television)
* Our Friend The King by Gilles Perrault (This biography of Hassan II of Morocco was banned in Morocco for its less than flattering portrait of the king.)
* The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Challenged in South Milwaukee because “drug and alcohol abuse was common” in the novels and “virtually all the characters were from broken homes.”)
* Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson
* The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
* Pernkopf’s Anatomy by Eduard Pernkopf ISBN 0-683-06854-7 (nudity; presents results of medical research, including vivisections, performed on nonconsenting prisoners)
* Peter Pan Racism, and on charges of promoting Homosexuality, drug use and miscreantism.
* Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (sexual themes)
* Philosophy in the Bedroom by the Marquis de Sade explicit sexuality, violence, blasphemy
* The Pigman by Paul Zindel
* The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett explicit sexuality, including a rape scene.
* The Poor Man’s James Bond
* Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth themes of sexual desire and sexual frustration
* The Power and The Glory by Graham Greene (Banned for unflattering portrayal of the Catholic Church.)
* The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (Banned for political reasons.)
* Private Parts by Howard Stern
* The Provincial Letters by Blaise Pascal attack on casuistry (religious logic at that time)
* The Qu’ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Anthony Sells ISBN 1-883991-26-9 Deals with early suras of Koran, some negated by later suras, hence the controversy
* Rabbit, Run by John Updike
* The Rainbow series by Alex Sanchez
* The Red and the Black by Stendhal banned for political reasons
* Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone by Immanuel Kant
* Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie.
* Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (Banned on political grounds.)
* The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine was banned in the UK and its author prosecuted for treason for its sedititious content
* The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis (sexuality)
* Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
* Sanctuary by William Faulkner (banned for sexuality and violence)
* The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (banned in Muslim countries for blasphemy, banned in parts of India for political reasons.)
* The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (banned for religious reasons)
* Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz ScaryStories
* A Separate Peace by John Knowles
* Sex by Madonna (Pornographic)
* Sex Education by Jenny Davis ISBN 0-531-05756-9 (teen murdered by adult)
* Sex for One: The Joy of Self-Loving by Betty Dodson masturbation
* Sexual Revolution in South Africa: The Pink Agenda: The Ruin of the Family by Christine McCafferty and Peter Hammond ISBN 0-9583983-4-8
* Show Me! by Will McBride
* Silas Marner by George Eliot
* Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Banned for foul language and promoting deviant sexual behavior.)
* Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice’s psuedonym) (banned for graphic sexuality)
* Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
* The Social History of East Pakistan by Kamruddin Ahmad was banned in Pakistan in December 1969 for political reasons
* Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
* Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence (sexual themes)
* The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe banned for promoting suicide
* The Soul of Man under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (banned for political reasons)
* The Spanish Labyrinth by Gerald Brenan ISBN 0-521-39827-4 ST: An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Spanish Civil War, formerly banned in Spain for political reasons.
* Spycatcher by Peter Wright About MI5. Banned in the UK.
* Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman banned in Canada, and many stores in the United States refused to carry it because the title may be an invitation to take the book without paying for it.
* The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence (banned in some Canadian schools on religious grounds)
* Stoner & Spaz by Ron Koertge ISBN 0-7636-1608-7 Romance between middle-class drug-addict girl and boy with cerebral palsy
* The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman Racial stereotypes
* Story of O – Histoire d’O – Pauline Réage aka Dominique Aury (born Anne Desclos) – explicit sexual content of a BDSM nature
* The Stupids (series) by Harry Allard for promoting negative behavior and disobedience, showing families in an unflattering light, and promoting low self-esteem
* Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green ISBN 0-8037-8321-3 Teenaged Jewish/Nazi romance, set in USA
* Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
* Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig for portraying police officers as pigs
* The Talmud was banned or censored in many Christian countries – some cities of medieval Italy, Czarist Russia and others; and in Nazi Germany
* Teenage Lust by Larry Clark graphic sexual imagery, homoeroticism, drug use
* Ten North Frederick by John O’Hara was banned in some districts of the USA on account of its sexual content being interpreted as obscene
* Teleny, sometimes attributed to Oscar Wilde homoeroticism
* Texte: RAF, sequestration in the Federal Republic of Germany.
* The Terrorist by Caroline B. Cooney (Challenged over negative portrayals of Arabs and Muslims)
* Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
* To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Banned for the use of racial slurs.)
* Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller (Banned in the USA for graphic depictions of sexual themes.)
* Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (Banned in the USA & UK for graphic depictions of sexual themes)
* Tulsa by Larry Clark (graphic sexual imagery, drug use)
* The Turner Diaries by William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym Andrew MacDonald (Tells the story of a racist revolution. Challenged on those grounds.)
* Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
* Ulysses by James Joyce (Banned in the United States until 1933 because it was considered impossible to read and obscene.)
* Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (Banned in Southern U. S. states as anti-slavery propaganda and for negative depiction of slave-owners; banned in czarist Russia; banned in Waukegan, Illinois (1984) for undesirable racial language (cf. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn).)
* United States Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967 U.S. Department of Defense aka the Pentagon Papers
* Understanding Islam through Hadis by Ram Swarup Hindi version banned in 1990.
* Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (banned for obscenity and sado-masochistic themes.)
* View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts ISBN 0-689-71784-9 Teenaged boy investigates elderly neighbor’s death as murder.
* We by Yevgeny Zamyatin was the first book suppressed by the Soviet Glavlit censorship administration. It was not published in Russian until 1988.
* We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
* The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (banned in Britain over its lesbian theme)
* What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras ISBN 1-55704-443-0 Illustrations of puberty’s physical effects.
* What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras ISBN 1-55704-444-9 Illustrations of puberty’s physical effects.
* What is to be Done? by Nikolai Chernyshevsky (Banned in Tsarist Russia for advocating the overthrow of the autocracy and the institution of socialist and feminist reforms.)
* What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones ISBN 0-689-84114-0 Portrays ninth-grader Sophie as “boy-crazy”, examing love vs. lust
* Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle Illustrated facts of life
* Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford (Banned from schools for the nudity (A topless mermaid, and a topless sunbather)
* ” Who Has Seen The Wind? by W.O. Mitchell for sexual description
* The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
* The Witches by Roald Dahl (Banned for language.)
* The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, ISBN: 0440497272
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Banned for fantasy elements and “negativism”.)
* Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence (Banned for sexuality)
* Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
* A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Banned because of pseudo-Christian theme.)
* Yerma by Federico García Lorca (Banned in Spain for political reasons.)
* Yo El Supremo (I, the Supreme) by Augusto Roa Bastos (banned in Paraguay under the Stroessner regime for subversivness and perceived criticism of Stroessner)
* Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne