Monday, November 15, 2010

Book Banning in the U.S.S.A.

"It seems that in the USA they are planning to ban children's books published before 1985, on the ground they they might, just possibly, contain too much lead," reports Steve Hayes — New health and safety lunacy: banning books. "The Consumer Products Safety Commission has 'clarified' the issue with contradictory guidance that has thrift stores and even libraries disposing of mountains of books published before the magic date -- and hoping that a stray copy of The Wind in the Willows doesn't bring down the wrath of the regulators."

Ironic that 1984 is the cut-off date. It would be appropriate if they were "disposing [these] of mountains of books" by burning, but surely there is a federal regulation against that as well. The conspiracy analyst in me thinks it may be more for moral content than lead content. The old books focused on building character and virtue, not self-esteem.

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Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


I'd suspect moral content rather than lead content as well, but lead makes a good smokescreen.

And I wonder why I first heard of this from your blog and not one of the book blogs. (A few months ago, during "Banned Books Week," every last one--but mine--seemed to be enjoying a self-righteous, angry field day.) Perhaps everyone is assuming that the books that are "disposed of" for lead content will just get new, safer editions put out and nothing will really go out of print.

Well, we'll see . . .

3:59 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

And I heard it from an Orthodox Deacon in South Africa!

11:00 PM  
Blogger Francis Xavier said...

If the choice is an honor student or a lackluster student who grew up with the old books, (and it is more often than we think) I know what I'd do.

Children exposed to lead at levels now considered safe scored substantially lower on intelligence tests, according to researchers who suggest one in every 30 children in the United States suffers harmful effects from the metal.

1:10 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

And how many children's books printed prior to 1985 are still on the shelves? Like none perhaps?

The actual problem is that commercialized books have become so dominant that the tried and true books from the past are no longer even being stocked by the chains.

12:34 PM  

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