Reasons for Political Censorship

Assignment 3, by Zach Tomaszewski

for LIS 693, Summer 2001, taught by Dr. Rebecca Knuth

The following books are discussed in the "Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds" chapter of 100 Banned Books[1]. The categories in the table below are of my own devising. See the key for a further description of the table headings.

ObsceneGross Depiction of RealityOpposing Ideology National Security
All Quiet on the Western FrontXXX 
AndersonvilleX X 
Animal Farm  X 
Areopagatica  X 
Black BoyX   
Burgers Daughter XX 
Decent Interval   X
Doctor Zhivago X  
Grapes of WrathXX  
Gulag Archipelago X  
Hoax of the Twentieth Century X  
I am the CheeseXX  
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse X  
Johnny Got His GunXXX 
Land of the Free X  
Manifesto of the Communist Party  X 
Mein Kampf XX 
The PrinceX   
Rights of Man  X 
Spycatcher   X
The Ugly AmericanXX  
Uncle Tom's CabinXXX 
United States Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967 (The Pentagon Papers)   X

Obscene. These books were censored for content that was judged vulgar, profane, lewd, sexually explicit, blasphemous, or immoral.

Gross Depiction of Reality. These books were considered to be unpatriotic, unfavorable, excessively graphic, biased, libelous, racist, or untrue in their descriptions of situations or events. For example, many of the books above were censored for their harsh descriptions of war, especially when the censoring country was currently involved in a war.

Opposing Ideology. These books either espoused ideals or were written by authors considered to hold ideologies contrary to those of the established system of the country. For example, works depicting communism were frequently censored in anti-communist America.

National Security. These books revealed information about the workings of the government that were either classified or protected by secrecy contracts.

1. Karolides, Nicholas J., Margaret Bald, and Dawn B. Sova. 100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature. [Location unknown]: Checkmark Books, 1999.