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  • Terry Bigham

    How about Edmund Wilson's book of short stories "Memoirs of Hectate County"? It was bannned because of the story "The Princess with the Golden Hair" with its erotic portrayal of a crippled girl. (I think it's still banned in New York)

  • Steve

    I remember that after reading Huck Finn in high school, a couple of years later, some one complained and the book was banned from being taught in English classes at my high school. So lame. The Notice and Explanatory at the begining of the book (write by Twain, of course) sum up the point of the book – and if you don’t get it, you’re an idiot. …

    PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narra- tive will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
    Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.

    IN this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary “Pike County” dialect; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have not been done in a hap- hazard fashion, or by guesswork; but painstakingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech.
    I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding.


  • Ax

    Wow, I'm surprised none of Marquis de Sade's books are on that list.

    • They should be, because they are all of them edgier by far than anything you will find today on Smashwords (well, would have found).

      But if they went after de Sade, or A Clockwork Orange or The Tin Drum, they’d look like philistines, and the press would pillory them as the parochial idiots they are.

      But who would ever stand up for a book titled ‘I Did Daddy’? No one.

      As erotica writers, we were an easy target. The genre tends to be meticulous about tagging potentially offensive subject matter in order to offer readers the chance to make informed choices. We were a search term away from expurgation.


    Censorship isn't terrible. (Did I get your attention?) Would you sit down with a five year old and watch "Debbie Does Dallas"? Of course not! To me, censorship should not become an issue until high school, but I may be giving high school students too much intellectual credit. Some parents may feel differently and may want to limit their children's exposure until the age of 18. Either way, the Libertatian in me feels that there should be almost no censorship for adults. Why do I say "almost"? Simple: child porn and the media messing with the military (like when Geraldo gave away troop movements on t.v.) See what I mean?


    Correction: "Libertarian" vice "Libertatian"…

  • Maethirion

    I wasn't surprised when I read the list, albeit slightly disappointed by the fact that some of these books are still banned in schools. I have read a majority of these books and I question why teachers wouldn't be allowed to use these for teaching material. Brave New World and 1984 in particular were very enlightening and and exposed me to political and philosophical views that I might never have considered if I hadn't read the books myself. Catcher in the Rye, The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings are good narratives for exploring the character of man and how environment effects development. Of course there are many other books that are excellent material for achieving the same ends, but they may be banned as well for all I know. However, it is good that we have groups to censor material especially for younger children who couldn't begin to comprehend what they are reading, and some things shouldn't be published at all, like pornographic novels and such. If we didn't have censorship then we'd have pre-adolescent kids running around with playboys and other offensive material. I'm just rambling now…

  • Kalevi Tirkkonen

    In the Year 1984 was banned in 1984? How ironic is that!

  • blake

    pornographic novels are bad but i

    find nothing roung with a erotic novel

  • lyriqel

    im seriously surprised A Clockwork Orange isnt on here, for some odd reason. Was that banned anywhere?

  • joshua sedgwick

    weres the prince ? it was banned for manny yers hundreds in fact or mine kampf?

  • katie

    A Clockwork Orange should have made this list, definitely. It must have been banned somewhere, it's too good of a novel not to have been banned.

  • b_alican

    the best of them is definetly the catcher in the rye

  • Michael

    I wish they banned Huck Finn at my school. That book is incredibly boring.

  • Mike

    I am surprised that your list didn't contain the most banned book of all time – The Bible! From ancient times until now, The Bible has been banned by many Communist and Muslim countries and even at times by The Roman Catholic church.

    • Ramsey

      Not to mention burned or outlawed by numerous Kings and Popes (Yes, Popes!).

  • corwyn

    dude Lolita for #1 whose with me

  • Liz

    It's weird, more than half of these books are on the required reading list at MY high school.

    • Dara

      I second that. The only reason I read any of them is because they were required reading at both of my high schools. And I liked almost all of them.

  • Anthea Carmeli

    What? Harry Potter? In my world Harry Potter is basically up there with oxygen.

  • Name

    About number 1, How is being called a slave any better than the n word?

  • gwnn

    What strikes me about Harry Potter being banned for promoting witchcraft is that those books are actually christian in nature. Those who were likely advocating for it being banned are those who would likely appreciate their christian nature if they read.

    Also children and especially adolescents are very clever. I credit them for being more intellectual than many of us adults at times. They understand the important themes and messages that are being portrayed in these novels. I remember reading Brave New World in grade 10 and understanding it well. As long as they are read under the careful guidance of someone who is an expert on this literature, for example an English teacher, I think they can figure out for themselves what they are reading and if it holds truth in this world. It perhaps in a way prepares them for the real nature of life outside of childhood. Ignorance is unhealthy.

  • Paro

    What? Where the hell is the Satanic Verses?!?!!? Salman Rushdie was in hiding for his anti – Islamic views! In fact, I don't think the bounty has been removed from his head yet! This list only includes books some Americans disliked but everyone's read anyway. The Satanic Verses should definitely be part of this list.

  • Jess

    Hope Australia doesn't ban Harry Potter too

  • I also think as some commentors that 'a clockwork orange' should be on this list

  • AmiLianna McPherson

    What? Half of these books I read a sophomore in high school. And the Harry potter series since it came out. I think its ridiculous. Does nobody see there educational. How are people going to learn about things, PAINFUL things without having to go through it?. As for the HP series its just make believe and fun. Banned my arse.!

  • Michael

    Citation Needed!

    While Orwell's 1984 has certainly been challenged, it is extremely doubtful that it was by the American Library Association, as they are extremely anti banning anything, and publish an annual list of banned and challenged books. Where did the article author get this idea?

    • Andrew

      Agreed. My guess is the author of this list saw 1984 on the ALA’s Frequently Banned Books list and didn’t bother to read further to discover that list is an attempt to promote awareness of the restriction of the 1st amendment.

      It does throw all of the other information into question, as well.

  • CH Nikole

    Very great list. Although I'm biased for Catcher in the Rye to be number 1

  • Kitty

    I'm almost certain that To Kill A Mockingbird isn't banned as my class is reading it in English class right now. However, I may be misunderstanding just what "banned" means. Maybe this list is written by someone who doesn't live in America. Or maybe my teacher is breaking a law 0.o

    • These books were banned at one time or another. Bans have been lifted in many cases, I'm sure. Also a book banning may be limited to a geographical or political area. Some areas of the world and our own country are more conservative than others.

  • name

    i read those books in middle school

  • Lex

    Ironically (and thankfully) half the books on this list were required reading in my schools and we're not banned. But anyway, seriously, why do the most sensitive and weak minded people get to make all the rules?!? Harry Potter has garnered much controversy for it's depictions of wizardry ( or witchcraft as they prefer to call it) but the point of the books are so much bigger than that! And even still, why is magic automatically deemed "evil" or "satanic" by these people? Magic can be used for good or evil, it's ultimately the person's decision to make. That's one of the main ongoing themes of the series. At any rate the books should be lauded more often for bringing countless children around the world the joy of reading good literature!

  • I am so glad I live in Australia!

    We studied "To Kill A Mockingbird" in High School!

    I saw "Catcher In The Rye" at the supermarket the other day and bought it along with a copy of "On The Road"

    About the only books I can think of banned here in Australia are the "Paladin Press" survivalist guides!

    I am so glad we Australians don't try and ram weird ideas of morality and religion done each others throats,

    • Whitmanamerican

      Andrew, you are, like many other smug Aussies, ignorant of your own country’s history of repression in this and other respects. Try doing a little research: google “books banned in Australia.”

      • Smug?!

        At least I’m not “smug” like you relying on friggen google for definitive information!
        Did you actually read the list of banned material here?
        What a joke your argument is.

        Wikipedia regurita is a sad thing mate.

        Considering your country invented the concept of “race” to justify slavery,
        started “the war on terror” that’s pissed off the muslim world,
        led us into a global financial crisis,
        and talk about being “leaders of the free world”, when you can’t even look after your own people.

        yeah, I can be smug about our government banning the “Biggles” and “Noddy” books in schools.

        So you go back to google, feel good about the way your country treats it’s poor.

  • diana

    ok where the hell are these books banned? becuase uh i read almost every single one of these in school, so idk wtf they're talking about.

  • Alyssa

    The Malleus Maledicarum should be on here. It was banned from the world and the only copy left (original) is locked in the basement of a museum in England.

    • FMH

      There are surely several original copies (what is an original copy at all – in an era before copyright) left, since it was printed countless times, even after the church banned official use. It was never rare or lost and today it’s neither difficult nor expensive to find a new edition.

    • FMH

      And it is “Maleficarum”

  • This is a pretty good list. I also have one on my blog.

  • Rob vergil

    is civilization not sivilization

    • I think that may be a quote from the book – can anyone confirm?

      • Adrianna

        its being sivilized. not civilized. huck says that in response as to why he doesnt like living with his super religious aunt martha or whatever

  • David

    Is it just me or is it ironic that most books on this “banned” list are now required reading in most schools. Maybe it’s time for a more current list.

  • vivian hernandez

    i do understand how THE COLOR PURPLE is banned because it is graphic but still it is a very meaningful book…if others would like to read this book then i think they should….it doesn’t matter what the people say as long as some one is learning from it……

  • sofia perez

    to ban books is unconstitutional. because of this other people cant let out any comments on how he or she is living and on how they are seeing life me being in high school is good and all but to elimanate what really is the cause of what things are really happening in society today is plain wrong. i dont agree with this at all.

  • Scarlet Thomas

    i can’t believe they are banning “To Kill a Mocking Bird” i love this book and i believe this is uncalled for. even though it talks about rape, racism and loss off innocence, this is very true now in days. society doesn’t want books that have true life occurrences but we all know that this happens whether we like it or not. i think schools should have books that children can relate to. and what about the first amendment, did we already forget the right of freedom of speech? you can’t ban books that speak the truth just because you don’t like it, you may say it’s Anti-Christian but it is reality.

  • I thimk that banning the Harry Potter Series is bad because people enjoy that book and there is nothing wrong with it.

  • The Catcher and the Rye is a good book and should not be banned since there isn’t anything wrong with it.

  • Ana Medina

    Banning these sort of books should not be allowed for they allow kids or teens to imagine, to go to new places, places only stories can bring. Why should we take this away, especially the hard work the authors had but on these stories? Its easy to take away for they were never part of making this book possible, they didnt have to go threw the hard process of making a story, i think we should re think of this,……

  • Jon

    The excuse that people use to ban books are so lame! “violence, rape, racism etc?” Then how about we ban the evening news and all newspapers since I read/hear about all of those issues daily!

  • Peter Boucher

    How about these two books : “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess and “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson

  • Judas Iscariot

    This list is a joke! The number one most banned book in the world–hand down–is The Bible!
    Please discuss….

    • Rebecca Politzer

      the only places i could find proof of that were websites of christian groups, please discuss…

  • bareck ofama

    Human beings the worst species….so why not ban them?

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