"Censorship in varying forms has been part of human experience for 2,500 years and has proved to be a recurring presence for political thought, whether as active repression, a shaping context for expression, or as itself a subject for analysis and argument. From the death of Socrates to the present, attempts to silence thinkers and writers have provoked passionate and often penetrating responses that speak of their historical moment. Censorship Moments provides short, accessible and stimulating essays on a variety of these responses. Each chapter pairs a textual 'moment' of writing on censorship by a past writer with analysis by an expert current scholar. The book's main focus is the public political dimension of censorship and freedom of expression, in its relation to political authority and political thought, while also reflecting on the porous boundary to literature and other areas such as law and the media. Authors of the essays include Gregory Claeys, Stephen Ingle and Melissa Lane."--Bloomsbury Publishing
“I want to be intelligent, even if I do live in Boston.” —an anonymous Bostonian, 1929 In this spectacular romp through the Puritan City, Neil Miller relates the scintillating story of how a powerful band of Brahmin moral crusaders helped make Boston the most straitlaced city in America, forever linked with the infamous catchphrase “Banned in Boston.” Bankrolled by society’s upper crust, the New England Watch and Ward Society acted as a quasi-vigilante police force and notorious literary censor for over eighty years. Often going over the heads of local authorities, it orchestrated the mass censorship of books and plays, raided gambling dens and brothels, and utilized spies to entrap prostitutes and their patrons. Miller deftly traces the growth of the Watch and Ward, from its formation in 1878 to its waning days in the 1950s. During its heyday, the society and its imitators banished modern classics by Hemingway, Faulkner, and Sinclair Lewis and went to war with publishing and literary giants such as Alfred A. Knopf and The Atlantic Monthly. To the chagrin of the Watch and Ward, some writers rode the national wave of publicity that accompanied the banning of their books. Upton Sinclair declared staunchly, “I would rather be banned in Boston than read anywhere else because when you are banned in Boston, you are read everywhere else.” Others faced extinction or tried to barter their way onto bookshelves, like Walt Whitman, who hesitantly removed lines from Leaves of Grass under the watchful eye of the Watch and Ward. As the Great Depression unfolded, the society shifted its focus from bookstores to burlesque, successfully shuttering the Old Howard, the city’s legendary theater that attracted patrons from T. S. Eliot to John F. Kennedy. Banned in Boston is a lively history and, despite Boston’s “liberal” reputation today, a cautionary tale of the dangers caused by moral crusaders of all stripes.
By Regan McMahon. Parenting, Media, and Everything In Between
Why Your Kid Should Read Banned Books
Banned Books Week gives families a chance to celebrate reading, talk about censorship, and decide for themselves what's appropriate for kids to read.