The following dangerous books - and many others - can be found at your local Public Library. The dates refer to the year in which the book was challenged, banned or burned.
Fables (585 B.C.)
According to legend, the Greek slave and storyteller was flung from the cliffs at Delphi for sacrilege.
The Odyssey (387 B.C.)
Plato suggested that state censors should expurgate the outlandish adventures of Odysseus, and all other poetry.
|Shakespeare, William |
King Lear (1810)
Banned from the English stage until 1820, in deference to the insanity of King George III.
|Darwin, Charles |
On the Origin of Species (1859)
Fearing the outraged response to his epoch-making theory, Darwin kept the work in a desk drawer for 15 years before publishing it, amidst a firestorm of controversy.
|Eliot, George |
Adam Bede (1859)
Condemned as the "vile outpourings of a lewd woman's mind" and withdrawn from British libraries.
|Whitman, Walt |
Leaves of Grass (1882)
When this great American poem was banned in Boston for explicit content, Whitman bought a house with proceeds from the increased sales.
|Steinbeck, John |
The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
Copies of this "ungodly" depression era epic were burned on the library steps in St. Louis, Missouri.
|Brown, Dee |
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. (1974)
This Native American history was removed from a school library in Wisconsin by an administrator, who explained: "if there's a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it?"
|Chaucer, Geoffery |
The Miller's Tale (1987)
Denounced as "pornography and women's lib.," this bawdy 14th century story was declared off-limits for students in Columbia County, Florida.
|Rushdie, Salman |
The Satanic Verses (1989)
Ayatollah Khomeini declared a death sentence on the author of this comic exploration of Good and Evil. Many bookstores do not stock the work, fearing violence.
The Bible (1992)
Challenged in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota as "lewd, indecent, obscene, offensive, violent and dangerous to women and children."
|Snyder, Jane |
Several juvenile biographies of homosexuals were removed from libraries in the Anaheim California School District, who claimed they were "too difficult."
|Pilkey, Dav |
Adventures of Captain Underpants (2000)
Removed from a Connecticut elementary school for causing unruly behavior.
|Rowling, J.K. |
The Harry Potter series (2001)
Subject of 448 challenges in 2001 alone, books from this popular series, together with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, were burned outside a church in New Mexico, for being "masterpieces of satanic deception."