15 Amazing Books Banned in America

15 Amazing Books Banned in America


By Leigh Holland.

It’s banned books week. Yes, I know, I know, who bans books (hint: schools and libraries)? Why were they banned? Did you know 314 books were either challenged or banned in 2014? Let’s take a look at 15 amazing books and why they were banned in America.

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, 1874. Why? Because it was deemed oppressive, perpetuated racism, and racially insensitive.
  2. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown, 1970. Why? It showed the expansion known as Manifest Destiny from the perspective of Native Americans and therefore was controversial. Educators hated controversy, well, in Wisconsin, anyway.
  3. The Call of the Wild by Jack London, 1903. Why? A somber and violent tale, it was challenged as being age-inappropriate.
  4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, 1961. Why? Yossarian teaches us what freedom really is and the book is critical of higher institutions. Strongsville, Ohio lost the Supreme Court battle to keep this one out of Freshman High School English class.
  5. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, 1951. Why? They thought it was blasphemous, foul, obscene, and undermined morality.
  6. For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, 1940. Why? Apparently, it made people around the globe think and the governments didn’t like that. Hemingway has the distinction of being the first author banned by the U.S. Postal Service.
  7. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. Why? See number 6.
  8. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, 1936. Why? It was an accurate portrayal of the antebellum/postbellum South. That’s why.
  9. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, 1939. Why? Profanity and sexual references that today would be considered tame.
  10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925. Why? Bad language, references to sex, and booze.
  11. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, 1906. Why? Dangerous, Socialist views.
  12. Native Son by Richard Wright, 1940. Why? An African-American male kills a white woman by accident, then goes on to kill more because it makes him feel powerful. He is tried and sentenced to death, prompting discussion of how much society is to blame in crimes committed by oppressed persons.
  13. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850. Why? Parents complained it was obscene and pornographic.
  14. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 1960. Why? Censors claim it is degrading and racist and promotes white supremacy.
  15. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, 1963. Why? Adults were upset by its dark and disturbing story.

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