Banned & Challenged Books ~ Recommended Reading September 2011

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Ratified December 15, 1791


The late Judith Krug (1940-2009), head of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom for 44 years,  spearheaded the first Banned Books Week  in 1982. Since then the last week of September has been set aside to celebrate the freedoms of expression and of the press, enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and to point out the dangers of censorship. This year’s list is based upon Anne Lyon Haight’s Banned Books: 379 B.C – 1978 A.D., which “traces the history of book censorship – for political, moral, or religious reasons – and provides insight into watershed court cases.”

The American Library Association continues to be an aggressive advocate for the free expression of ideas: “Banned Book Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.” Indeed, let us read…


Banned in the U.S.A: a reference guide to book censorship in schools and public libraries by Herbert N. Foerstel 025.213 F654b

Intellectual freedom manual compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association 025.213 I61131 2006

Libraries, access, and intellectual freedom: developing policies for public and academic libraries by Barbara M. Jones 025.213 J77L 1999

Libraries, erotica, & pornography edited by Martha Cornog 025.27 L697

Killed cartoons: casualties from the war on free expression edited by David Wallis 070.442 K48 2007

Banned books, 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D. by Anne Lyon Haight 098.1 H149b 1978

Bookbanning in America: who bans books? – and why by William Noble 098.1 N753b 1990

Suppressed books: a history of the conception of literary obscenity by Alec Craig 176.8 C885s

The essential Confucius: the heart of Confucius’ teachings in authentic I ching order- a compendium of ethical wisdom translated and presented by Thomas Cleary  181 C748e

The analects of Confucius: a philosophical translation by Roger T. Ames, Henry Rosemont, Jr. and Lun yu (Chinese &English) 181.112 C748a 1999

Plato’s Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito with critical essays edited by Rachana Kamtekar 184 P718 2005

The letters of Abelard and Heloise translated by Betty Radice 189.4 A141L 1974

Discourse on method, and Meditations by Rene Descartes translated by Laurence J. Lafleur 194.1 D445d

How the Bible was built by Charles Merrill Smith and James W. Bennett 220.09 S644h 2005

The Guideposts parallel Bible: King James Version, Modern Language Bible, Living Bible, Revised Standard Version 220.52 B582g 1973

Basic Luther: Selections by Martin Luther 230 L973b

The Talmud: what it is and what it says by Jacob Neusner 296.12 N496t 2006

The Holy Qur’an: text, translation and commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali 297.1227 K84a 2002

The meaning of the Holy Quʼrān by Abdullah Yūsuf Alī 297.1227 K84am 2009

Confucianism and the family edited by Walter H. Slote and George A. DeVos 299.512 C748c 1998

The net delusion: the dark side of internet freedom by Evgeny Morozov 303.4833 M871n 2011

Harmful to minors: the perils of protecting children from sex by Judith Levine 306.7 L665h 2003

GLBTQ: the survival guide for queer & questioning teens by Kelly Huegel  306.766 H887g 2003

Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman 306.85 N553h

The prince and other political writings by Niccolò Machiavelli translated by Stephen J. Milner 320.1092 M149po 1995

Civil liberties edited by James D. Torr 323 C582 2003

Censorship, Inc: the corporate threat to free speech in the United States by Lawrence Soley 323.443 S685c 2002

Outspoken: free speech stories by Nan Levinson 342.73085 L665o 2003

Girls lean back everywhere: the law of obscenity and the assault on genius by Edward de Grazia 344.0547 D278g 1993

Trust your children: voices against censorship in children’s literature by Mark West 363.31 W519t 1997

Anatomy of censorship: why the censors have it wrong by Harry White 363.31 W584a 1997

The language police: how pressure groups restrict what children learn by Diane Ravitch 371.32 R256L 2003

What Johnny shouldn’t read: textbook censorship in America by Joan DelFattore 379.156 D349w

Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican by Galileo Galilei translated by Stillman Drake; foreword by Albert Einstein 520 G158d 2001

Girl, interrupted by Susanna Kaysen 616.890092 K23g 1994

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman 811.3 W615L 1965

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller 812 M647d 1999

Grendel by John Gardner 813 G227g

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 813 V947s

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 813.4 T969a 1984

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 813.4 T969ad 1938

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner 813.52 F263a 1987

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 813.52 S819g 1992

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 813.52 S819o 1937

Native Son by Richard Wright 813.52 W952n 1940

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 813.54 A584i 1969

Handmaid’s Taleby Margret Atwood 813.54 A887h 1998

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel 813.54 A917c 1980

Valley of the Horses by Jean Auel 813.54  A917v 1982

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 813.54 B798f 1993

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George 813.54 G348j 1986

Time to Kill by John Grisham 813.54 G869t

Ordinary People by Judith Guest 813.54 G936o 1977

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller 813.54 H477c 1961

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey 813.54 K42o 1964

A Separate Peace y John Knowles 813.54 K73s 1959

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 813.54 L478t 1960

Beloved BY Toni Morrison 813.54 M882b 1988

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison 813.54 M882b 1994

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 813.54 N117L 1982

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson 813.54 P296b 1977

Close Range by Annie Proulx 813.54 P968c 2003

Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth 813.54 R845p 1994

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 813.54 S165c 2001

The Color Purple by Alice Walker 813.54 W177c 2003

Paradise lost by John Milton edited by Stephen Orgel and Jonathan Goldberg 821 M662p 20041

Roxana, the fortunate mistress or, a history of the life and vast variety of fortunes of Mademoiselle de Beleau, afterwards called the Countess de Wintselsheim in Germany, being the person known by the name of the Lady Roxana in the time of Charles II by Daniel Defoe edited by Jane Jack 823.5 D314ro 1964

Robinson Crusoe: an authoritative text, contexts, criticism by Daniel Defoe 823.5 D314zr 1994

Gulliver’s travels by Jonathan Swift edited by Paul Turner 823.5 S977g 1971

A clockwork orange: authoritative text, backgrounds and contexts criticism by Anthony Burgess edited by Mark Rawlinson 823.914 B955cz 2011

The Rushdie file edited by Lisa Appignanesi and Sara Maitland 823.914 R953zr 1990

A tale of a tub, the battle of the books, and other satires by Jonathan Swift 827.5 S977t

Areopagitica by Milton edited by John W. Hales 828 M662a

Montaigne’s Essays: a study by Donald M. Frame 844 M813zf

Complete essays by Michel Montaigne translated by Donald M. Frame 844.31 M761c 1958

Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais 847.3 R114h

The divine comedy: the inferno, the purgatorio, and the paradiso by Dante Alighieri translated by John Ciardi 851.1 D192d 2003

Dante by Thomas G. Bergin 851.1 D192zb 1965

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio translated by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella 853 B663d

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 863 G216o

Ovid and his influence by Edward Kennard Rand 871 R186o

The Roman novel: the ‘Satyricon’ of Petronius and the ‘Metamorphoses’ of Apuleius by P. G. Walsh 873.009 W226r

The golden ass: being the Metamorphoses of Lucius Apuleius translated by W. Adlington 878 A655g

The complete plays of Aristophanes edited by Moses Hadas 882 A717h

Aristophanes / Lysistrata edited by Jeffrey Henderson 882.01 A717a

The Odyssey of Homer translated by Richmond Lattimore 883 H766o

The Odyssey / Homer translated by Robert Fagles 883.01 H766o 1997

Xenophon Works: Memorabilia and Oeconomicus translated by E.C. Marchant; Symposium and Apology translated by O.J. Todd 888 X5

Second front: censorship and propaganda in the Gulf War by John R. MacArthur 956.7043 M116s


To access follow the catalog link “An electronic book accessible through the World Wide Web; click to view”

Zhu Xi’s Reading of the Analects: canon, commentary, and the classical tradition by Daniel K. Gardner [electronic resource]

The Odyssey of Homer: a new verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum [electronic resource]

The Odyssey of Homer translated by Alexander Pope [electronic resource]

Memorabilia / Xenophon translated by H. G. Dakyns [electronic resource]

The Birds / Aristophanes [electronic resource]

The art of love: bimillennial essays on Ovid’s Ars amatoria and Remedia amoris edited by Roy Gibson, Steven Green, and Alison Sharrock [electronic resource]

The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter [electronic resource] / Complete and unexpurgated translation by W. C. Firebaugh, in which are incorporated the forgeries of Nodot and Marchena, and the readings introduced into the text by De Salas

Abelard and Heloise by Constant J. Mews [electronic resource]

The Monarchia controversy: an historical study with accompanying translations of Dante Alighieri’s Monarchia, Guido Vernani’s Refutation of the Monarchia composed by Dante and Pope John XXII’s bull, Si fratrum  by Anthony K. Cassell[electronic resource]

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Volume 1: Inferno  translated by Allen Mandelbaum [electronic resource]

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Volume 2: Purgatorio translated by Robert M. Durling [electronic resource]

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Volume 3: Paradiso translated by Allen Mandelbaum [electronic resource]

Obscene in the extreme: the burning and banning of John Steinbeck’s ‘The grapes of wrath’ by Rick Wartzman [electronic resource]

Access denied: the practice and policy of global Internet filtering edited by Ronald Deibert [electronic resource]

Banned in the U.S.A: a reference guide to book censorship in schools and public libraries by Herbert N. Foerstel [electronic resource]

From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: a history of the fight for free speech in America by Christopher M. Finan [electronic resource]

The Discourses by Niccolo Machiavelli [electronic resource]

Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais translated by Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty and Peter Antony Motteux [electronic resource]

Essays by Michel de Montaigne translated by Charles Cotton [electronic resource]

A discourse on the method of correctly conducting one’s reason and seeking truth in the sciences by René Descartes translated with an introduction and notes by Ian Maclean [electronic resource]

Areopagitica by John Milton [electronic resource]

Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress by Daniel Defoe [electronic resource]


Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Association of College Stores. The Library of Congress Center for the Book also endorses it.

The American Library Association’s “Virtual Read-Out” announcement – Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation

American Civil Liberties Union

Project Gutenberg Banned Books bookshelf (based on the Haight book above). “Anne Haight’s Banned Books 387 B.C. To 1978 A.D. gives a history of book-banning through the ages. Many of the banned books that Anne Haight discusses are available from Project Gutenberg.”

Maintained by journalist and constitutional scholar Stephen J.J. Mount since 1995, this site includes the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, as well as other documentation and extensive commentary.

1 Comment

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One response to “Banned & Challenged Books ~ Recommended Reading September 2011

  1. An amazing article highlinelibrary! Keep up fantastic work and go on to keep making article like this one.

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