Book Burning and Censorship - CHERISHED RIGHTS

This image depicts the 1884 cover of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a book often criticized, censored or banned since Mark Twain had his work published in 1884. In the 21st century, the book is still under attack and critics have even removed hundreds of words from Twain's text. Image online via Wikimedia Commons.


Since writing was invented in about 3000 BC, people have expressed their thoughts in written form. The battle with censors has been ongoing.

From the death of Socrates, in 399 BC (for teaching the youth of Athens to think for themselves) to the 1981 burning of the New Living Bible in Gastonia, North Carolina (because it is "a perverted commentary of the King James Version" of the Bible), history is filled with stories about secular and ecclesiastical authorities who tried to kill the product of free thought.

Some of the people who created those ideas were executed. But in America, the First Amendment guarantees cherished legal rights and protects both the process and the people.

Is there censorship in America?

  • Then, in 2011, a publisher—following the advice of a Twain scholar—decided to change the author's words, making about 200 edits in the popular work.  A raging debate immediately followed, with censorship accusations flying anew.

America has censorship. That is why first amendment protection of free thought and expression is as important today as it was when the Bill of Rights was first written.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Jul 04, 2019

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"CHERISHED RIGHTS" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2000. Feb 27, 2020.
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