banningb - Should Banning Books be Legal? Stephanie Russo...

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Should Banning Books be Legal? Stephanie Russo English 130.03 April 7, 2008 Argument Essay
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Russo 1 Banning Books The banning of books, or censorship, is one of the most controversial issues in America today. The history of censorship goes back to ancient times. As soon as works could become published, they have been able to be censored. Books during the ancient times that were banned were usually burned, because they were not circulated around the world. Once the printing press was invented in 1450, books had the ability to circulate around the world much easier. The beginning of most published books originated in Germany, and within only twenty years began to be banned. In response, the Church of England passed a law in which all manuscripts had to be sent in for approval. Years later, in 1559 during the Protestant outrages and creation of the evolutionary theories, another law was issued. The Roman Catholic Church created the Index Librorum Prohibitorum , which was a list of forbidden books. Publishing soon made its way to America, and the first documented burned book occurred in 1650. Ever since the beginning, banning books has been a radical, unnecessary legal action. By definition, given by the American Library Association, censorship is “the removal, suppression, or restricted circulation of literary, artistic, or educational materials.” During the years of 1990-2000, the American Library Association documented over 6,000 challenges. This was only within ten years. Considering that books have been challenged in America since about 1650, it is unimaginable how many books have been challenged. Challenged books are not always banned books. When a book is challenged, it can be challenged under four contexts, these contexts may or may not be documented. Under these are: express of concern, where a citizen simply states their concern with a book. Oral complaint, where a citizen will contact the school or library directly about their concern with a book. Written complaint, where a citizen will
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Russo 2 document their complaint. And finally, public attack, where a book will be challenged verbally by one or more people in front of several other citizens. Public attack leads to censorship, where the book is completely removed from a designated area. Several parts of a community have the ability to ban books. Libraries, schools, towns and even the government have banned books in the past. The situation can be involved in small terms such as one school, or can be involved in large terms such as entire towns. Even some books have been universally banned. The banning of books is usually documented, but there have been instances where books have been quietly removed to avoid confrontation and involvement with the legal system. In most cases, school boards are responsible for what is taught in their district; therefore have the say of whether or not a book should be utilized in the curriculum. There is a law that outlines the circumstances upon the censorship of books. This law
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course ENG 130 taught by Professor Grochawalski during the Spring '08 term at Assumption College.

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banningb - Should Banning Books be Legal? Stephanie Russo...

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