Ten Most Banned Books

Ban something, or make it illegal and people want it all the more. Alcohol consumption went up during prohibition in America. In Reddington's Rare Records in Birmingham UK, the guy denied he had any bootlegs when I asked, but when the store had emptied produced a copy of Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight. I paid a fortune for it, I could have bought half a dozen legal records, and listened to a concert that sounded as if it had been recorded in a wind tunnel.

Here's a list of the ten most banned books:

1. The Spycatcher

by Peter Wright

2. Wild Swans

by Jung Chang

(Jung Chang’s family memoir told via three generations of women in her family gave many Western readers their first insight into life in China under the iron rule of Chairman Mao’s Communist party. With over 13 million copies sold,Wild Swans is reportedly the biggest selling non-fiction paperback of all time, but has remained banned in China since its release in 1991.)

3. Lady Chatterley’s Lover

by D H Lawrence

4. All Quiet on the Western Front

by Erich Maria Remarque

(Written by a veteran of the First World War, this unflinching portrayal of the brutality of the conflict was banned by the Nazi government in 1933.)

5. Doctor Zhivago

by Boris Pasternak

(Pasternak’s depiction of Russian life after the Bolshevik Revolution was banned in the former Soviet Union until 1988. Such was the native hostility towards his book’s apparent criticisms of the Bolshevik party that Pasternak turned down the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 after being threatened with ejection from the USSR.)

6. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

by L Frank Baum

(Despite appearing to most of us as an inoffensive fairy tale, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) was banned in many US libraries and schools in the 1930s and again in the 1950s for promoting "unwholesome" values via its independent female protagonist and its "ungodly" characters such as witches and flying monkeys.)

7. 1984

by George Orwell

George Orwell’s 1949 vision of a dystopian future, where all human activity is monitored and independent thought is entirely suppressed, was banned by the American Libraries Association for being a “bleak warning of totalitarian government and censorship”. Ironically, despite the book being labelled pro-Communist, it was also banned in the USSR for implicitly criticising the Soviet regime.

8. Ulysses

by James Joyce

Joyce’s epic novel has long been considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature, but anti-vice forces in the US took issue with the book’s brief metaphorical reference to masturbation. After a 1921 trial in which it was declared obscene, Ulysses was banned in America until 1933. Originally published in Paris, it also remained banned in the UK until the 1930s.

9. The Diary of Anne Frank

by Anne Frank

Translated into 60 languages, the diary of the German teenager who narrated her life in hiding from the Nazis and later in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, has sold over 30 million copies worldwide since it was published in 1952. Yet the book is banned in Lebanon for depicting Jews positively;Schindler’s Ark and Sophie’s Choice are also banned.

10. The Satanic Verses

by Salman Rushdie

Rushdie's notorious book, inspired in part by the life of the Prophet Mohammed, famously resulted in Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini placing a fatwa (death sentence) on Rushdie for "insulting Islam". Violent demonstrations erupted against Rushdie around the world and several UK bookshops were firebombed for stocking the book. Most shockingly, Rushdie’s Japanese translator was murdered, his Italian translator wounded in a knife attack and his Norwegian publisher was shot and injured.

(For full article see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9900733/Top-20-books-they-tried-to-ban.html )