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Censorship has been used to restrict the publication of racey works of literature but it is also used to control the content of art, film, news and the internet.

Selected Books

Bald, Margaret
Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds
r BL65.C45 B35 2006
Bald, a consultant to the United Nations who has written on literature and censorship for a variety of publications, overviews the history of the censorship of religious and secular works for religious reasons. New entries in this revised edition include extensive coverage of the Harry Potter series, as well as entries on other frequently challenged books.
Culture Wars: Documents from the Recent Controversies in the Arts
Edited by Richard Bolton
NX735 .C85 1992x
Efforts by government officials and self-appointed guardians of public morality to control the contents of art and public speech have exposed deep divisions in America's beliefs about artistic value and freedom of expression.
French, Philip
Censoring the Moving Image
In the 20th Century, film became the medium to censor and control, in the West because of sex and violence and in the east, for political reasons.
Howl on Trial: the battle for free expression
Edited by Bill Morgan and Nancy J. Peters
PS3513.I74 H634 2006
Documents the 1957 obscenity trial of San Francisco beat poet Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl
Ladenson, Elisabeth
Dirt for Art's Sake: Books on Trial from Madame Bovary to Lolita
PQ295.C47 L33 2007
Learn more about the controversies surrounding books by Flaubert, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Baudelaire, Henry Miller, and Vladimir Nabokov.
Online Pornography
Emma Carlson Berne, book editor.
HQ471.O55 2007
This volume is from the Opposing Viewpoints Series with articles defending and attacking pornography on the Internet.
Wartzman, Rick
Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath
In May of 1939, the growers of Bakersfield, California, succeeded in having Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Grapes of Wrath, banned in Kern County, because of obscenity.
White, Amy E.
Virtually Obscene: The Case for an Uncensored Internet
HQ471.W45 2006
White reviews the cases for censoring the Internet (harm to children, harm to women), the failure of current legislation and why it is not a good idea to try to censor the Internet.

Web Sites

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Free Speech
    "Freedom of speech is protected in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights and is guaranteed to all Americans. Since 1920, the ACLU has worked to preserve our freedom of speech."
  • American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom
    The American Library Association have long been proponents of intellectural freedom, including the freedom to read and freedom from censorship.
  • ALA Frequently Challenged Books
    Each year, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books.
  • Index on Censorship
    A leading repository of original, challenging, controversial and intelligent writing on free expression issues.
  • IFEX: International Freedom of Expression EXchange
    Check here for news stories about censorship and persecution of journalists.
  • National Coalition Against Censorship
    The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is an alliance of 50 national non-profit organizations. On their website you can find the latest censorship challenges.
  • Project Censored
    Each year this organization publishes the top 25 censored news articles. Censorship refers to the "intentional non-inclusion of a news story or piece of a news story" due to "political pressure (from government officials and powerful individuals), economic pressure (from advertisers and funders), and legal pressure (the threat of lawsuits from deep-pocket individuals, corporations, and institutions)."