She’s deeply hostile to free speech, and so are they

Of all the current “liberal” insults to intelligence and common sense (the list is long), maybe the most astounding (and they’re all astounding) is the “liberal” cry against the censorship of books. That stand has been a liberal mainstay since long before one had to put that word in scare quotes, with yearly “Banned Books Weeks” defending many books that were not “banned,” except in some provincial schools and libraries—Grapes of Wrath, The Catcher in the Rye, Fahrenheit 451, Lolita, The Bluest Eye, The Diary of Anne Frank, (increasingly) The Bible, and many other titles readily available and widely read.

Such pre-COVID shows of “anti-censorship” might just as well have been (or maybe were) mere PR for the book publishing industry, since claiming that a certain title has been “banned” is likely to get people interested in reading it. Meanwhile, such promotions of “banned books” have not included countless books that really have been “banned,” albeit covertly, and so successfully that no one’s ever heard of them—books not openly proscribed, and/or thrown into bonfires, but variously killed at birth (“privished”), or that have quietly slipped out of print, because some powers don’t want anybody reading them. Such disappeared books have included Gerald Colby’s Behind the Nylon Curtain—an epic history of the DuPonts, first killed by its own publisher; Deborah Davis’s Katherine the Great—a thorough, fair biography of sainted Washington Post owner Katherine Graham, who, abetted by its publisher, destroyed it; Philip Agee’s Inside the Company: A CIA Diary—one of several honest memoirs savaged by the Agency; Moshe Menuhin’s The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time—a devastating history of Zionism that no publisher would touch in 1965, so that it came out, imperceptibly, from the Institute for Palestine Studies; and James Stewart Martin’s All Honorable Men—a frank account of the deliberate subversion of the US effort to break up the cartels that served the Nazi war machine: a must-read memoir that the CIA killed by buying up every copy in the bookstores, then Little, Brown, the publisher, would not reprint it, even though the New York Times had run a very positive review. (Most of those titles, and a few dozen more, are available as e-books from my Forbidden Bookshelf series, at

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