“A book is a loaded gun,” Ray Bradbury famously wrote in Fahrenheit 451, and it seems governments around the world tend to agree.
You may think that book banning belongs to a more regressive past, where authoritarian regimes would try to suppress dangerous ideas from its people. However, book banning remains alive and well in 2019.
From Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Leonni (Italy) to Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally (Lebanon) to The Satanic Versus by Salman Rushdie (too many countries to list), governments continue to curtail access to classic books.
In the last week of September every year, the American Library Association and Amnesty International join forces to showcase banned and restricted books, and to promote the idea that adults should be free to read whatever the want.
You can also check out the Global English Editing blog for a summary of each book, as well as the reasons why they’ve been banned.
In the spirit that people should be able to read whatever they want, the following map shows nearly 50 countries with books currently banned (or were banned in the recent past). The map shows that, unfortunately, freedom of information is still being curtailed around the world.