In honor of Banned Books Week 2014, we wanted to find out how some of history’s most influential thinkers feel about censorship. Scroll down to read their totally on-point comments.
“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” — Mark Twain
“It’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” — Judy Blume
“The crime of book purging is that it involves a rejection of the word. For the word is never absolute truth, but only man’s frail and human effort to approach the truth. To reject the word is to reject the human search. ” — Max Lerner
“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” — Benjamin Franklin
“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost.” — Alfred Whitney Griswold
“Yes, books are dangerous. They should be dangerous — they contain ideas.” — Pete Hautman
“Banning books gives us silence when we need speech. It closes our ears when we need to listen. It makes us blind when we need sight.” Steven Chbosky
“If librarianship is the connecting of people to ideas…it is crucial to remember that we must keep and make available, not just good ideas and noble ideas, but bad ideas, silly ideas, and yes, even dangerous or wicked ideas.” — Graceanne A. Decandidio
“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” — Oscar Wilde
“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” — Joseph Brodsky
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“Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.” — Lyndon Baines Johnson
Are you a banned books reader? Tell us how you’ll be celebrating this year’s Banned Books Week the comments!Whizzco