Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week - Learn More with ABC-CLIO Resources

Commend the Freedom to Read!

September 25—October 2 is Banned Books Week, a nationwide celebration hosted by library, literary, and free expression organizations to bring awareness to the continual challenge of the First Amendment right to intellectual freedom. Since 1982, when library activist Judith Krug founded Banned Books Week, almost 1,000 books have been challenged to be banned; even as recent as 2009, 460 were contested. These range from J. K. Rowling's contemporary fantasy Harry Potter series to Alice Walker's prolifically taught classic The Color Purple to the children's book And Tango Makes Three. Complaints against these and numerous other titles largely stem from concerns that their contents are too inappropriate for placement in school libraries and curriculums. Book contenders have apprehended such subject matter as influencing students with material too occult, sexually inappropriate, offensive, violent, politically incorrect, unpatriotic, racist, heretical, profane, or demeaning, among other attributes. Outside the education sector, political incentives often factor into efforts to ban particular books. Just recently, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency scrambled to purchase all publications of the newly released Afghanistan War memoir, Operation Dark Heart, which the government claimed contained sensitive classified material. Needless to say, the suppression of books is not an archaic issue.

For a more in-depth look at the historical and current controversies surrounding the censorship of literature, check out these reputable ABC-CLIO titles:

Resources on Censorship

Authors Who Have Been Challenged or Banned

--Ashley Hyder, ABC-CLIO Writer/Editor, Issues and American Government

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