Banned Books (Freedom to Read)

      Posted: February 18, 2017

      Every year during Freedom to Read Week, the library does a display of books which have been banned by governments throughout the world. These aren't just books that were objected to by some random person and removed from some random library in the middle of nowhere - these are books that were (or in some cases, still are) actually illegal. From February 20 to March 3, check them out at the display in the library, or reserve them right here - you might find something you're interested in!

      Banned Books the Library Has

      Areo

      Areopagitica (1644)
      by John Milton

      Banned by:


      England
      England banned this book upon publication during the English Civil War. The book was a defense of freedom of speech, aimed at a law Parliament had passed a year before. The law essentially required all authors to have their works approved by the government before publication.
      Alice in Wonderland

      Alice in Wonderland (1865)
      by Lewis Carroll

      Banned by:


      China old
      China banned it for a time beginning in 1931, because a General named Ho Chien objected to the anthropomorphized animal characters, stating that "attributing human language to animals was an insult to humans.” He was also afraid that children reading the book would believe that animals and humans were equal to one another.
      All Quiet

      All Quiet on the Western Front (1929)
      by Erich Maria Remarque

      Banned by:


      Nazi Germany
      The Nazis banned this novel of World War I on May 10, 1933, and burned it regularly after that, for undermining morale due to its anti-war themes and for being "degenerate.” Remarque was forced to flee the country, and his sister was later beheaded by the Nazis in his stead.
      American Psycho

      American Psycho (1991)
      by Bret Easton Ellis

      Banned by:


      Queensland
      Banned by the state of Queensland, Australia. Its sale has also been restricted (though not outright banned) in numerous other nations and states, including several other areas of Australia and Germany. The reason? It centers on a depraved serial killer and contains graphic descriptions of him committing (among other things) cannibalism, necrophilia, and torture.
      Animal Farm

      Animal Farm (1945)
      by George Orwell

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by the Allies during WWII since it parodied and criticized the Soviet Union, and the Allies needed their help to defeat the Nazis. Thus it wasn’t published until after the war. It is also banned or censored in numerous Communist countries to this day (Cuba, North Korea, China, etc.), and somewhat strangely in Kenya (because of its criticism of corrupt leaders) and the United Arab Emirates (because it contains anthropomorphic, talking pigs, which according to someone in power there, is anti-Islamic).
      An Area of Darkness

      An Area of Darkness (1964)
      by V.S. Naipaul

      Banned by:


      India
      You wouldn’t think that a travelogue could possibly be offensive, but upon its publication, this book was "immediately banned” by the authorities because of its "negative portrayal of India and its people.” One of the interesting things about this is that Naipaul, a Nobel Literature prize winner, is himself of Indian descent.
      Arabian Nights

      Arabian Nights

      Banned by:


      USA
      The uncensored version of this was banned by the US for obscenity under a law in 1873 known as the Comstock Act, and for decades only censored editions were allowed to be published. The law is still technically in effect there, although it hasn’t been enforced in ages.
      August 1914

      August 1914: The Red Wheel I (1971)
      by Aleksandr Solzhneitsyn

      Banned by:


      USSR
      Shortly after Leonid Brezhnev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1964, he banned "all current and future works” by Solzhenitsyn. As such, anything published after that date was banned in the USSR, until 1989, during Perestroika. This is part one of Solzhenitsyn’s four-part series of novels that chronicle the beginnings of the Russian Revolution from its origin at the start of World War I.
      Bad Samaritans

      Bad Samaritans (2008)
      by Ha-Joon Chang

      Banned by:


      S. Korea
      The South Korean military banned this book for being anti-capitalistic. The book is one of 23 books that members of the South Korean armed forces are not only not allowed to possess, but not allowed to read. The reasons for the bans fall into one of four categories: being pro-North Korea, anti-government, anti-American, or anti-capitalistic. In 2010, the ban on these books was actually challenged in court, but the judges in the case upheld it. The strange thing is there are no such bans on these books for the country’s civilian population; it is just for members of the military.
      The Bible

      The Bible

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Numerous countries throughout history have banned the Bible, to the point where it is probably the most banned book of all time. The reasons it is banned tend to be religious or political. In modern times, while official bans are perhaps less frequent than in the past (North Korea being a notable exception to this, where simple possession of a copy will land you in jail or even in front of a firing squad), there are numerous countries where it is restricted to various degrees, to say nothing of unofficial bans where it may not technically be illegal to own a copy, but it might land you in jail anyway. There are also nations like Morocco which ban it in certain languages (in their case, it is banned in Arabic, but not in western languages).
      Brave New World

      Brave New World (1932)
      by Aldous Huxley

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Ireland and Australia banned this book in the 1930s, and India banned it in 1967. The reasons for the bans were mainly because of the book’s sexual content; in India Huxley was even called a "pornographer.” In Ireland he was accused of being "anti-family” and "anti-religion.” The novel is similar to George Orwell’s 1984 in that it presents a dystopian, pessimistic view of the future, a point the book’s detractors would seem not to understand.
      Burger's Daughter

      Brave New World (1932)
      by Nadine Gordimer

      Banned by:


      South Africa
      The apartheid government of South Africa banned this novel a month after it was published. The reasons for the ban should be obvious upon a quick summary of the plot: it centers on a group of white anti-apartheid rebels trying to overthrow the South African government. The "official" reason it was banned was because it "propagated Communist opinions, created a psychosis of revolution and rebellion, and made several unbridled attacks against the authority entrusted with the maintenance of law and order and the safety of th state."
      Call of the Wild

      Call of the Wild (1903)
      by Jack London

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      The Nazis banned and burned this book, along with many of London’s other works, simply because he was a well-known Socialist. It was also banned in Italy and Yugoslavia in 1929 for much the same reason. The novel is about a sled dog during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon.
      Candide

      Candide (1759)
      by Voltaire

      Banned by:


      USA
      Banned by the United States for a time in the 1930s. Copies of the book were seized from anyone attempting to import it. The reason for the ban was because it was deemed “obscene.” Candide is a satire, and the obscenity in question had to do with Voltaire’s mocking of, well, pretty much every topic imaginable. Not to mention there is also a fair amount of sexual content in the book (for instance, the name of the main character’s female love interest is a sexual pun).
      Canterbury Tales

      Canterbury Tales (Late 1300s)
      by Geoffrey Chaucer

      Banned by:


      USA
      The United States in the 1870s for a time under an anti-obscenity law called the Comstock Act. Similar to and likely inspired by Boccaccio’s DeCameron (though arguably less raunchy), Chaucer himself also never finished the Tales, and added an apology to the end of his work for any offense he may have caused. Presumably it didn’t go over well to certain parties even in his time.
      Capital

      Capital (1867)
      by Karl Marx

      Banned by:


      China old flag
      Banned by China in 1929 (before the Communists took power there). As one would expect given the author, the book is an analysis and critique of capitalism from a Communist point of view.
      Communist Manifesto

      The Communist Manifesto (1848)
      by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by Germany in 1878 after several failed assassination attempts on Kaiser Wilhelm I (the attempts sparked a crackdown on Communist organizations), by pre-Communist China in 1929, and banned and burned by the Nazis in the 1930s. While not outright banned, it was also burned on a regular basis in the U.S. during McCarthyism in the 1950s. More recently, it was banned in Grenada in 1989.
      The DeCameron

      The DeCameron (1350s)
      by Giovanni Boccaccio

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by several countries throughout history. This book has one of the longest histories of any book being banned. It was originally banned in Italy upon publication in 1497, and has been banned numerous times elsewhere, including in the United States in 1873 as a result of the Comstock Act. The reason? Extreme raunchiness.
      The Diary of a Young Girl

      The Diary of a Young Girl (1947)
      by Anne Frank

      Banned by:


      Lebanon
      Banned by Lebanon, along with many other books dealing with similar subject matter, for showing Jewish people in a favorable light. In addition, since the unedited versions of the diaries were released in 1989, it has been challenged (though not legally) in numerous libraries and schools throughout the USA, not because of any new content about the Holocaust, but because of sexual content that was restored to it.
      Dr. Zhivago

      Dr. Zhivago (1957)
      by Boris Pasternak

      Banned by:


      USSR
      Banned by the Soviet Union for being “counter-revolutionary and slanderous,” despite the fact that no censors had actually read the novel. Not only that, but the government forced Pasternak to decline the Nobel Prize for it. Interestingly, once he was no longer in power, Nikita Khrushchev would actually read the book and comment, “We shouldn't have banned it. I should have read it myself. There's nothing anti-Soviet in it.” The novel is about an extramarital affair.
      Droll Stories

      Droll Stories (1837)
      by Honoré de Balzac

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by Ireland from 1953 to 1967, and the United States in 1884. The reasons for the bans are because the stories in it are "pornographic" in nature, centering on such topics as "necrophilia, nymphomania ... adultery ... and bodily functions."
      Dubliners

      Dubliners (1914)
      by James Joyce

      Banned by:


      Australia
      This was banned by Australia from 1929 to 1933. More interesting, however, is the story of Joyce’s difficulty in getting it published. He repeatedly had to change printers and/or publishers, as someone involved would inevitably find something they found obscene about his material. Eventually, 1000 copies of the book were printed, only to be burned the next day by the printer after he actually read part of it, and refused to hand them over to Joyce or anyone else.
      Émile

      Émile (1762)
      by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

      Banned by:


      Paris, France
      Banned by the city of Paris shortly after publication, where the Parliament ordered it be “torn and burned at the foot of the great staircase.” The reason for the ban was because the book was a criticism of both how children were educated and of society as a whole.
      Fanny Hill

      Fanny Hill (1748)
      by John Cleland

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by the UK shortly after publication (the publishers were actually arrested for it), where it was illegal all the way up to 1970. It was also banned in the United States (twice!) – once in 1821, and a second time in 1963. The reason for the banning is fairly obvious: the plot centers on a teenage girl who becomes a prostitute and has nearly every sort of sexual encounter imaginable. Indeed, the term “pornography” literally exists because of the book, as it was coined from the Greek by its critics (originally meaning “writing about prostitutes.”)
      Farewell

      A Farewell to Arms (1929)
      by Ernest Hemingway

      Banned by:


      Italy
      Banned by Italy for several years, and the city of Boston for a short time. This novel about a soldier fighting on the Italian front of WWI was banned in Boston and accused of being “pornographic” (despite the fact the sex scenes that occur are only implied, and happen “off-screen,” so to speak), while in Italy it was banned while Mussolini was in power. While no official reason for the ban there was given, it is presumed to have been because it is both an anti-war novel in general and because it specifically gives a negative portrayal of the Italian front.
      First Circle

      The First Circle (1968)
      by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      Banned by:


      USSR
      Banned by the Soviet Union. Shortly after Leonid Brezhnev came to power in 1964, he banned “all current and future works” by Solzhenitsyn. As such, anything published after that date was banned until 1989, during Perestroika. The title is an allusion to Dante’s “first circle of Hell.” This novel is about a group of intellectual prisoners in the Gulag prison system that had things slightly – and precariously – better off than most Gulag inmates.
      For the Good of the Cause

      For the Good of the Cause (1963)
      by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      Banned by:


      USSR
      The Soviet Union. Shortly after Leonid Brezhnev came to power in 1964, he banned “all current and future works” by Solzhenitsyn. As such, anything published after that date was banned until 1989, during Perestroika. The book is a novella about a group of college students who build their own college building, only to have the Soviet authorities seize it.
      Frankenstein

      Frankenstein (1818)
      by Mary Shelley

      Banned by:


      South Africa old flag
      Banned in South Africa beginning in 1955 because it had “obscene” and “indecent” material. The material that was deemed offensive was essentially the fact that Frankenstein’s monster was composed of body parts from all sorts of different people. The apartheid government had recently passed laws which prohibited interracial relationships and marriages, and as such, they viewed the book as an affront to their ideas.
      From Under the Rubble

      From Under the Rubble (1975)
      by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      Banned by:


      USSR
      Banned by the Soviet Union. Shortly after Leonid Brezhnev came to power in 1964, he banned “all current and future works” by Solzhenitsyn. As such, anything published after that date was banned until 1989, during Perestroika. The book is a collection of essays edited by Solzhenitsyn, and co-written with six other Russian writers, criticizing not only the USSR, but also the liberal West.
      Grapes of Wrath

      The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
      by John Steinbeck

      Banned by:


      USA
      This novel was banned and burned in various states in the southern US, including Kansas and California, for being “Communist Propaganda” and a “pack of lies” because of its negative portrayal of the way officials and farmers treated the poor who had been forced to move westward from Oklahoma and other states hit hard during the Great Depression.
      Gulag

      The Gulag Archipelago (1973)
      by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      Banned by:


      USA
      The Soviet Union banned this until Gorbachev came to power in the 1980s and instituted glasnost. The reason for the banning was because it exposed the Soviet system of sending supposed “enemies of the state” to the Gulags (prison camps) scattered throughout the USSR. Solzhenitsyn traced how the system’s roots went back to Lenin himself – obviously a big no-no since Lenin was the founder of the Soviet state. Because of all this, the book was published in France, which directly led to Solzhenitsyn being exiled and deported from the Soviet Union. Interestingly, since the dissolution of the USSR, the book has become required reading as part of the Russian high school curriculum.
      Hunchback of Notre Dame

      The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831)
      by Victor Hugo

      Banned by:


      Russia
      Czar Nicholas I of Russia banned all of Hugo’s works in 1850, past, present and future. The reason for this was because of Hugo’s “less than flattering portrayal of royalty.” The ban survived well after Nicholas’s death in 1855. The novel is about a hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and his ill-fated love for the beautiful Esmeralda.
      July's People

      July's People (1981)
      by Nadine Gordimer

      Banned by:


      South Africa old flag
      The second book in a row Gordimer had banned in South Africa during apartheid, this novel takes place during a fictional civil war in South Africa between black and white people. As such, one can easily see how the apartheid government would not appreciate it.
      The Jungle

      The Jungle (1906)
      by Upton Sinclair

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by pre-Communist Yugoslavia in 1929, East Germany in 1956, South Korea in 1985, and also burned by the Nazis. The Nazis burned this novel about poverty and the meat-packing industry simply because Sinclair was a well-known Socialist. As for East Germany, they banned it because it was “incompatible” with Communism – a strange assertion considering both book and author had a very strong Socialist worldview. Conversely, the novel was banned in both Yugoslavia and South Korea for being “Marxist.” It seems no one could agree what it was about...
      King Never Smiles

      The King Never Smiles (2006)
      by Paul M. Handley

      Banned by:


      thailand
      Banned by Thailand. This is a biography of Thailand’s current king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, and was written by a western journalist who lived and worked there. The book attacks King Adulyadej and accuses him of being autocratic (among other things) and was actually banned in Thailand before it was even published.
      The Koran

      The Koran

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by Communist China from 1966-1976 during the Cultural Revolution (along with the Bible and other religious texts), and by Ethiopia’s socialist military government in 1986, where all copies were ordered to be “confiscated and destroyed.”
      Lady Chatterley's Lover

      Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)
      by D.H. Lawrence

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Numerous countries shortly after publication, including both Canada and the US until 1960, Australia until 1965, and the UK until 1959. Also, when it was published in Japan in 1950, the publisher and translator there were both fined. This book was banned in all these nations not only because of its subject matter (an extramarital affair between a British noblewoman and her gamekeeper), but because of its “explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then-unprintable words.”
      Leaves of Grass

      Leaves of Grass (1855)
      by Walt Whitman

      Banned by:


      USA
      Banned by the city of Boston in the 1880s, and unofficially in New York and Philadelphia at the same time, for “vivid descriptions of bodily and sexual functions that were distressing to readers.”
      Lenin in Zurich

      Lenin in Zurich (1976)
      by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      Banned by:


      USSR
      Banned by the Soviet Union. Shortly after Leonid Brezhnev came to power in 1964, he banned “all current and future works” by Solzhenitsyn. As such, anything published after that date was banned until 1989, during Perestroika. The book is a companion to August 1914, and is about Lenin, focusing on what he was doing at that point in time.
      Lolita

      Lolita (1955)
      by Vladimir Nabokov

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by numerous countries shortly after publication, including Canada, France, the UK, Argentina, New Zealand, and South Africa. The reason for the bans should be fairly self-evident: the plot centers on a grown man who marries a widow in order to rape her 12-year old daughter.
      The Lottery

      The Lottery (1948)
      by Shirley Jackson

      Banned by:


      South Africa Old flag
      Banned by South Africa during apartheid. This short story centers on a ritual a small town holds every year whereby a “lottery” is held for each citizen; the “winner” will be stoned to death by the other citizens. No official reason was given for the ban, and while critics have put forward various theories (ranging from the government felt it was an attack on apartheid, to feeling it was an attack on tradition in general), none were ever confirmed. Jackson, for her part, refused to speak of the story, other than saying that she was proud it was banned in South Africa and that “they at least understood” it.
      Lysistrata

      Lysistrata (411 BC)
      by Aristophanes

      Banned by:


      Greece
      Banned by Greece in 1967. Incredibly, this play, the oldest book on the list apart from the Bible, was banned in more modern times by the country of its origin. The book was not banned for its sexual content (the plot centers on how the women of Greece band together to withhold sex from the men in order to stop a war), but because of the book’s anti-war message, presumably because of a coup d’état that occurred that year when the army seized power.
      Madame Bovary

      Madame Bovary (1856)
      by Gustave Flaubert

      Banned by:


      France
      France shortly after publication, and Flaubert himself was unsuccessfully prosecuted in court. The reason for the ban and prosecution was because the book was deemed to be full of “offences against public morals.” The plot centers on a married woman who has two extramarital affairs and eventually commits suicide.
      Mein Kampf

      Mein Kampf (1925)
      by Adolf Hitler

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by many countries, especially in Europe. The bans range from full ones (simple possession of a copy is illegal) in places like Russia, to partial ones (the most common being that printing new copies is illegal, but owning or selling an older one is ok). The reason for the ban is, obviously, because the book is undeniably hate literature, its author one of the most evil men in history. That said, it is also an important historical document, a must-read for scholars studying World War II and/or the Holocaust.
      Metamorphosis

      The Metamorphosis (1915)
      by Franz Kafka

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Banned by Nazi Germany in the 1940s, the USSR after WWII, and Kafka’s home country of Czechoslovakia from the 1968 until 1989. The plot centers on a man who wakes up one day having transformed into a giant insect. The Nazis banned (and burned) his works because he was Jewish, while the Communists in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia said he was “decadent” and “nihilist.”
      Les Misérables

      Les Misérables (1862)
      by Victor Hugo

      Banned by:


      Russia
      Czar Nicholas I of Russia banned all of Hugo’s works in 1850, past, present and future. The reason for this was because of Hugo’s “less than flattering portrayal of royalty.” The ban survived well after Nicholas’s death in 1855. The book was also burned by Carlos Castillo Armas in 1954 after he staged a coup in Guatemala because it was “subversive.”
      Moll Flanders

      Moll Flanders (1722)
      by Daniel Defoe

      Banned by:


      USA
      The United States banned the book in 1873 under the earlier-mentioned Comstock Law. The reason it was deemed obscene was because the title character is a woman who in charitable terms could be described as a gold-digger, as she continually gets married and/or seduces men for their money (not to mention that one of her husbands is in fact her brother). That is, she does this when she’s not resorting to thieving to make living.
      Naked and the Dead

      The Naked and the Dead (1948)
      by Norman Mailer

      Banned by:


      Canada
      This novel was banned by order of the Minister of National Revenue, who banned it without having read it. The book follows a group of American soldiers fighting in the Pacific during WWII. On a side note, the publishers convinced Mailer to self-censor it before publication by using the word “fug” instead of the actual thing, fearing there would be criticism “that there were more f-bombs dropped in the book than actual ones” otherwise. Not only did this not end up helping matters, but Mailer was ridiculed by some “as that young man who doesn’t know how to spell f---.”
      Naked Lunch

      Naked Lunch (1959)
      by William S. Burroughs

      Banned by:


      Boston, USA
      The city of Boston from 1962-1966 for obscenity, specifically due to the murder of a child and pedophilia, and less so because the novel follows a drug addict.
      New Class

      The New Class (1957)
      by Milovan Djilas

      Banned by:


      Yugoslavia
      Yugoslavia banned the book even before it was published in the US. The work was an analysis and attack on the Communist government under Tito. One of the interesting things about this is that Djilas had once upon a time been viewed as Tito’s heir apparent, and he was actually President of Yugoslavia (though still subservient to Tito) for about two weeks in late 1953/early 1954. However, his views against totalitarianism came into clash with Tito’s tightening grip, and the publication of the book was the last straw: Djilas was imprisoned for 15 years.
      1984

      Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948)
      by George Orwell

      Banned by:


      USSR
      The USSR banned it in 1950 shortly after a Russian translation was released there, for what one would think are fairly obvious reasons.
      oneday

      One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962)
      by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      Banned by:


      USSR
      The USSR banned this along with the rest of Solzhenitsyn’s works in 1964, shortly after Leonid Brezhnev came to power. The book was initially permitted to be published under Nikita Khrushchev – albeit in censored form. Like Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, One Day centers on the Soviet system of prison camps for political prisoners. Unlike Gulag, however, One Day is a work of fiction.
      Rights of Man

      Rights of Man (1791)
      by Thomas Paine

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      This was banned by the United Kingdom in the 1790s, and by Russia in the 1820s. It was banned in the UK because the book is in part a defense of the French Revolution, which the British were vehemently against. It was banned in Russia after a failed revolt against Czar Nicholas I which had aimed to reform the country, and many of the rebels’ ideas – namely that revolution is acceptable when the government does not defend its citizens or their rights – were echoed in the book.
      Satanic Verses

      The Satanic Verses (1988)
      by Salman Rushdie

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      Almost twenty Muslim countries banned this book for alleged blasphemy against Islam. Many thought some of the book’s characters were intended to be parodies disrespecting Mohammed, and the title was thought to be implying that the Koran was the work of the Devil. Rushdie had a "fatwa" declared against him by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran, declaring that it was the duty of every Muslim who had the chance to kill him. Strangely, it has also been banned in some non-Muslim countries such as Thailand, Venezuela, and South Africa.
      Scarlet Letter

      The Scarlet Letter (1850)
      by Nathaniel Hawthorne

      Banned by:


      russia
      Russia banned this from 1852-1856 on the order of Czar Nicholas I. The ban was lifted by Alexander II after he came to power. The novel centers on an adulteress who has a child out of wedlock.
      Toilers of the Sea

      Toilers of the Sea (1866)
      by Victor Hugo

      Banned by:


      russia
      Czar Nicholas I of Russia banned all of Hugo’s works in 1850, including future works. The reason for this was because of Hugo’s “less than flattering portrayal of royalty.” Unlike some of Nicholas's other bans, the ban on Hugo's books survived well after Nicholas’s death in 1855. The novel is about the impact of the Industrial Revolution on a small island in the English Channel.
      Ulysses

      Ulysses (1922)
      by James Joyce

      Banned by:


      Multiple countries
      This was banned in the 1930s and 40s in Canada, the 1930s in the UK, 30s and 40s in Australia, and in the 20s and 30s in the US for “obscene sexual content” and “vulgar language.” In the US the ban actually went to court in a case called “The United States vs. One Book Called Ulysses.” Throughout the period of the ban in the US, the United States confiscated about 500 copies of the book and burned them. This was not the first time Joyce had had books of his burned...
      Uncle Tom's Cabin

      Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
      by Harriet Beecher Stowe

      Banned by:


      Confederate US
      Who banned it? The Confederate States during the U.S. Civil War due to its anti-slavery message. It was also banned in Russia under Czar Nicholas I in the same year of its publication for much the same reason (though Nicholas’s successor Alexander II would free the serfs there a few years later in 1861). Stowe’s novel became known as “the book that started the Civil War.”
      Well of Loneliness

      The Well of Loneliness (1928)
      by Radclyffe Hall

      Banned by:


      UK
      The United Kingdom banned this shortly after its publication for just over 20 years. It was also challenged in court in the United States, though the attempt to ban it failed there. The reason for the ban in the UK was because the book is about a lesbian and her various relationships, and it was deemed to run afoul of a law called the “Obscene Publications Act of 1857.” While the US had a similar law at the time, the attempt to ban it failed there largely because the court felt it did not “violate the law” as the book was not “written in such a way as to make it obscene.”
      What Uncle Sam Wants

      What Uncle Sam Really Wants (1992)
      by Noam Chomsky

      Banned by:


      S. Korea
      Banned by the South Korean military. This is one of the 23 books banned for members of that country’s armed forces, beginning in 2008. Like many of the others, this particular work is banned for its criticism of the United States. The reason this is likely a touchy subject is because South Korea has close ties with the US (there are almost 30,000 US soldiers stationed there to this day to defend against North Korea).
      White Niggers of America

      White Niggers of America (1970)
      by Pierre Vallières

      Banned by:


      Canada
      Written by a Quebecker, this political tract was initially banned in Canada for two reasons: its comparisons of the treatment of French Canadians to slaves in the old American south, and the fact the author was one of the leaders of the infamous Front de libération du Québec (i.e. the terrorist group FLQ).
      Zbabelci

      Zbabelci (The Cowards) (1958)
      by Josef Skvorecky

      Banned by:


      Czech
      Czechoslovakia, two months after publication in 1958. The novel is a satirical examination of the Communist takeover of that country.
      Freud

      Various works
      of Sigmund Freud

      Banned by:


      Nazi flag
      The Nazis not only banned his works, but burned them, simply because he was Jewish.

      Submitted by: CapU Library