The first book banned and burned in the New World was published in London in 1650: William Pynchon’s “The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption,” a critique of Puritanism.
Mr. Pynchon, a Puritan living in Massachusetts Bay Colony, found little welcome for his views and was eventually forced to return to England.
Fast forward three centuries, and there were about 300 cases of attempted censorship reported in 1980, the library group says.
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Today’s banned book is Margaret Atwood ‘s The Handmaid’s Tale, which has been banned for sexually explicit content.