Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds / Edition 2

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Overview

Throughout history, tyrants, totalitarian states, church institutions, and democratic governments alike have banned books that challenged their assumptions or questioned their activities. Political censorship was even applied to ancient Greek dramas during the Nazi occupation in 1942. Political suppression also occurs in the name of "security" and the safeguarding of official secrets, and is often used as a weapon in larger cultural or political battles.

Such censorship has affected every form of writing; Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds illustrates its extent and frequency.

Works covered Include:
-- Animal Farm, George Orwell
-- Born on the Fourth of July, Ron Kovic
-- Burger's Daughter, Nadine Gordimer
-- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown
-- Cancer Ward, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
-- The Case for India, Will Durant
-- The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
-- Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
-- El Senor President, Miguel Angel Asturias
-- A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
-- The Fugitive, Pramoedya Anata Toer
-- The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
-- Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
-- The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
-- Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
-- Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler
-- The Odyssey, Homer
-- Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
-- The Struggle Is My Life, Nelson Mandela.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Sarah Flowers
This is one volume in a set of four that also covers literature suppressed on sexual, social, and religious grounds. In the preface, Karolides admits that these distinctions can be artificial: "not all attacks are identified forthrightly; it is apparently more difficult to protest the politics of a text than it is to protest its offensive language." Thus, Joseph Heller's Catch-22, for example, was challenged on "social" grounds and appears in that volume, despite what was probably a hidden political agenda. Still, there are plenty of books left that have been challenged on purely political grounds, from Animal Farm-"Orwell was a communist"; to Born on the Fourth of July (McGraw-Hill, 1976)-"unAmerican"; and from Gulliver's Travels-"full of unprovable lies"; to Mein Kampf-"propaganda of a common gangster." Each entry contains a detailed summary of the book (two to three pages, in most cases), a section on the book's censorship history (varying from a few lines to several pages), and a list of further readings (books, journal articles, and court cases). Many of the books discussed in this volume were banned in schools, either because they appeared to be favorable to socialism, communism, or the Soviet Union, or they were perceived as being unfavorable to the United States. Thomas Bailey's American Pageant (D.C. Heath, 1956), a U.S. history textbook notable for its lively, readable style and humorous insights into people and events of our national past, was challenged because it contained "a lot more funny pictures of Republicans and nicer pictures of Democrats" and because President Franklin Roosevelt was described as a "gifted leader." This book is recommended as a reference book for high school and public libraries. The summaries and bibliography would be useful to students researching any of the works listed. The censorship histories are an excellent resource for librarians facing challenges, and are more detailed than those offered in ALA's Banned Books Resource Guide (ALA, 1998). Index. Biblio. Biographical Profiles.
Library Journal
Both of these books from Facts On File's "Banned Books" series (which also includes Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds and Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds) are revised versions of the 1998 editions. Karolides (Encyclopedia of Censorship) includes information on over 100 banned titles. An entry of two to ten pages is devoted to each title, including its publication information (e.g., date of first publication, publisher), summary of the work, censorship history, and a list of resources for further reading. The works examined are varied, both as to the type of work and the national origin of the author. Many entries are revisions of those from the 1998 edition (e.g., George Orwell's Animal Farm), but some are included for books published beyond 1998 (e.g., Jonathan C. Randal's After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?). Journalist Bald's book follows the same format, although the entries are a bit shorter. Additions to the entries from the 1998 edition include the Harry Potter books and James W. Laine's Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India. While many of the books examined here were published decades or even centuries ago, the focus of religious censorship has changed in recent years, with a shift toward concerns voiced by the Religious Right (in the United States, for example). Both the preface and the entries discuss this shift. This series is intended for students in ninth grade and above, and the writing level seems appropriate for both high school and college students. The summaries are sufficiently meaty to give the reader an understanding of the issues surrounding the attempted suppression of the works. The censorship history sections are of particular interest and are sufficiently detailed to allow for follow-up research. Bottom Line Although libraries owning the previous edition might consider forgoing purchase of this set, we have seen a sufficient number of relevant societal changes in the last eight years to make the purchase necessary. Recommended for all public, school, and academic libraries.-Denise Johnson, Bradley Univ., Peoria, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The aim of this four-volume set is to spotlight some 400 works that have been censored, banned, or condemned because of their political, social, religious, or sexual content. The entries, which include a summary, censorship history, and brief bibliography, range widely from Aristotle through Galileo and on up to Adolf Hitler and Judy Blume. Such well-known prohibited works as de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom, the Communist Manifesto, and Huckleberry Finn are included here, but so are many other works that are now less controversial, e.g., Milton's Areopagitica and Uncle Tom's Cabin. Some of the censorship histories are several pages long, but others are very short; Born on the Fourth of July gets only 50 words. Though most of the works are worth notice, too many describe fairly vapid objections: Fail-Safe was challenged by a school librarian who thought the book would undermine "America's confidence in their defense system." But as one might expect, many of the entries, such as the one for The Satanic Verses, are harrowing. Prepared by well-qualified scholars who have written and lectured extensively on censorship, the set is a very readable gathering of much useful information. It provides more depth and is more current than either Anne L. Haight's Banned Books 1978. 4th ed. or ALA's Banned Books Resource Guide 1995. Index not seen.Peter A. Dollard, Alma Coll. Lib., Mt. Pleasant, MI
Booknews
Gives plot synopses of 105 works of fiction and nonfiction censored for their political content, and details the censorship history of each. Works covered include , , , and . Includes biographical profiles of authors. Part of a four-volume collection spotlighting some 400 works that have been censored for their political, social, religious, or erotic content, in the US and around the world, from Biblical times to the present. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816062706
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Series: Banned Bks.
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

Introduction xv

Works Discussed in This Volume xix

Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds 1

Biographical Profiles 601

Bibliography 629

Works Discussed in the Other Volumes of This Series 651

Index 677

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