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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Monday, January 10, 2005

America (The Book) Banned In Mississippi

From the just when you thought you'd heard it all department, today we learned that eight libraries in Mississippi have joined Wal-Mart in banning Jon Stewart's best-selling "America (The Book)". Despite being named 'Book of the Year' by Publishers Weekly, the book apparently doesn't cut it as library material due to one page which features the heads of the Supreme Court justices superimposed over naked (and may I add unattractive) bodies.

"We're not an adult bookstore. Our entire collection is open to the entire public. If they had published the book without that one picture, that one page, we'd have the book." - Robert Willits, director of the Jackson-George Regional Library System

I think former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (unfortunately not pictured in the book) summed it up pretty well when he said "Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us." Oh the irony.

The ALA has a good link on their site about banned books in recent history. Did you know that of the 100 top novels of the 20th century, exactly one third have been removed or threatened with removal from bookstores, libraries and schools at some point? At least "America (The Book)" can take solace in the fact that it is in good company.


Blogger LDC said...

Gotta love the home state.

Fortunately, the Library Board just voted to overturn the ban: http://www.sunherald.com/mld/thesunherald/news/local/10622783.htm

2:32 PM


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