Visual Encyclopedia

Book censorship

Book censorship is when some authority, government or otherwise, takes measures to prevent access to a book or to part of its contents. It can be enacted at the national or subnational level, and can carry legal penalties. Books may also be challenged at a local community level, although successful bans do not extend outside that area. Similarly, religions may issue lists of banned books—a historical example being the Roman Catholic Church's Index Librorum Prohibitorum—which do not always carry legal force.

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As students, we are assigned many books to read in school. What teachers don't always mention is that many of these books were published with their original material censored, such as how The Diary of Anne Frank was published without "pornographic references" or how Fahrenheit 451 once had a "clean" version suitable for teenage readers before Bradbury put a stop to it.

Contributed by Sammo Lea

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