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Power of 50


Over the years, communities around the country have banned many classic works of literature. As part of the American Library Association’s annual Banned Books Week (Sept. 25-Oct. 2), libraries and bookstores are urging these same communities to stand up against censorship. In that spirit, here’s a list of 50 books that have been banned at one time or another somewhere in the U.S., followed by their year of publication and categorized by the reason they were banned.

Too Political

1. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852

2. All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque, 1928

3. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway, 1929

4. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, 1939

5. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway, 1940

6. Animal Farm, George Orwell, 1945

7. 1984, George Orwell, 1949

8. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, 1957

9. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., 1969

10. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Peter Matthiessen, 1983

Too Much Sex

1. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert, 1856

2. Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy, 1891

3. Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922

4. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway, 1926

5. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Law­-rence, 1928

6. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller, 1934

7. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955

8. Peyton Place, Grace Metalious, 1956

9. Rabbit, Run, John Updike, 1960

10. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, 1969

11. Jaws, Peter Benchley, 1974

12. Forever, Judy Blume, 1975

13. The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy, 1986

14. Beloved, Toni Morrison, 1987

15. How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, Julia Alvarez, 1991


1. On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, 1859

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954

3. The Last Temp­tation of Christ, Nikos Kazantzakis, 1960

4. Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya, 1972

5. Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, 1997-2007

Socially Offensive

1. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, 1791

2. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850

3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884

4. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner, 1930

5. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, 1932

6. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936

7. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, 1937

8. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank, 1947

9. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951

10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953

11. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960

12. James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl, 1961

13. Catch-22, Joseph Heller, 1961

14. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, 1962

15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey, 1962

16. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1966

17. Cujo, Stephen King, 1981

18. The Color Purple, Alice Walker, 1982

19. Ordinary People, Judith Guest, 1982

20. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley, 1991

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