Banned in the U.S.A: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries

Banned in the U.S.A: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries

Banned in the U.S.A: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries

Banned in the U.S.A: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries

Synopsis

Since the first edition was published to acclaim and awards in 1994, librarians have relied on the work of noted intellectual freedom authority Herbert N. Foerstel. This expanded edition presents a thorough analysis of the current state of book banning in schools and public libraries, offering ready reference material on major incidents, legal cases, and annotated entries on the most frequently challenged books.

Excerpt

Like the first edition of Banned in the U.S.A., published in 1994, this revised and expanded second edition examines the landscape of book censorship in American schools and libraries, but there is much new material and analysis presented. Significant new developments in book-banning are reflected in the updated Introduction to the second edition and in two new, in-depth accounts of censorship in Chapter 1, “A Survey of Major Bookbanning Incidents.” Recent cases have been added to the legal analysis of Chapter 2, “The Law on Bookbanning,” including Supreme Court decisions involving censorship on the Internet and in book publishing as they relate to schools and libraries. As we saw in the first edition, legal precedent with respect to bookbanning more often than not addresses broad questions of administrative authority rather than specific censorship guidelines. That same tangential application to bookbanning is true in many of the new cases.

Chapter 3, “Voices of Banned Authors,” has been augmented to include new interviews with two of the most censored authors of the new millennium, David Guterson and Lesléa Newman. Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars is ranked number 17 in my list of most banned books; Newman’s Heather Has Two Mommies is number 33.

The fourth and final chapter of Banned in the U.S.A., “The Most Frequently Banned or Challenged Books, 1996–2000,” has, of necessity, been entirely rewritten to reflect the fifty most banned books from 1996 through the year 2000. The new list contains a number of titles that did not appear among the first edition’s fifty most banned books, most prominent among them the Harry Potter books, tops on the banned list. There

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