Famous Book-Banning Quotes

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As I’ve been writing articles for this site, on many occasions, I’ve run into a quote that seemed almost right for a particular article. But then, for some reason or other, I always seem to decide against including it. So now, I’ve got a whole collection of quotes by noted individuals on the subject of book-burning, just waiting to be used. So let’s use them. Here, then, is my collection of Famous Book-Banning Quotes.

“The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.”
– Walt Whitman

“There is no such thing as a moral book or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.”
– Oscar Wilde, the Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.”
– Oscar Wilde, the Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

“Adam was but human – this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.”
– Mark Twain

“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”
– George Bernard Shaw, Preface to Mrs. Warren’s Profession

“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime…”
– Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States, 383 U.S. 463 (1966)

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
– John F. Kennedy

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