Banned Books

In: Social Issues

Submitted By grahamwgiles
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Banned Books: A History and Examination

One of the most prolific issues in American education has been censorship in the classroom. This issue has manifested itself in several ways throughout history; however, censorship most often manifests itself in the classroom as book banning. Book banning can be any form of textual censorship from the exclusion of novels from a school library, to the censoring of textbooks by a school board, to the full banning of books by a government. This paper will examine book banning and textual censorship and its impact on education. It will first look at the history of book banning including several modern occurrences of it in the classroom. It will then seek to explain the significance of book banning on education in general with particular attention paid to the American educational system. Banning books has been used as a system for controlling what students learn for ages where those in power use it force the views of the few on the next generation of learners. The banning of books has its origins as far back as 450 B.C., when Anaxagoras wrote that he thought the sun was a “white hot stone and that the moon reflected the sun's rays.” His writings were deemed “derogatory” to the gods, forcing his departure from Athens and the burning of all of his writings. Since that time, decisions about book bannings often have turned on the definition of what is derogatory. As society has grown and changed, so have its tastes, and the fine line between what one person considers art and what another considers rubbish has shifted several times. This issue becomes more complex when the material is available to minors or included in the education of children. Debate over which books should be used in the classroom or made available in a school library can become very heated. Those who object to content of a particular book feel that…...

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