Banned Books Week – Quotes on Censorship

The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book. ~Walt Whitman

All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States — and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death! ~ Kurt Vonnegut

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it. ~ Mark Twain

To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list. ~John Aikin

If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty. ~ JFK

The sooner we all learn to make a decision between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be… Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself. ~ Granville Hicks

Comments are closed.