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One Cannot Ban Maus Without First Banning the Internet.

January 29, 2022

It can be difficult to ban a book in the internet age.

My senior English students are reading George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four.

The son of one of my colleagues is a student in my class. When she inquired about his interest in the book, he told her, “Oh, I already read it.”

“When?” she asked with surprise.

“When COVID first hit.”

“Where did you get the book?” she asked.

“I found a copy online.”

She had no idea.

If parents want to control what their children read, they might consider refocusing their school-district, book-banning attention toward controlling content on their children’s iPhones, iPads, and other electronic devices. As of this writing, three of Art Speigelman’s Maus book series are rated, 2, 3, and 7 on Amazon’s best sellers.

I assume some of those McMinn, Tennessee, students might be wondering (and accessing) what they’re missing in that January 26, 2022, unanimous school board vote to ban Maus from the curriculum.

In response to the ban, a Knoxville, Tennessee, comic book store is giving away free copies of Maus to students who wish to read the book.

As it stands, readers can also do what my colleague’s son did with Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four: Read it online for free. Here’s the first in the series: Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (1986).

(Note that the above text is available on Internet Archive, which is involved in a June 2020 lawsuit brought forth by several publishers. Internet Archive maintains it offers the books under “fair use.”)

Interestingly, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four is also in the news as a UK university issues a “trigger warning” because some might find the book offensive. As of this writing, the book is ranked 47 on Amazon’s best sellers.

So, it seems that in our information age, a fantastic way to spark nationwide and possibly worldwide interest in a book is to ban it.

My hat is off to the offended catalysts.

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4 Comments
  1. Zorba permalink

    Reblogged this on Politicians Are Poody Heads.

  2. Jen S. permalink

    I never heard of the book “Maus,” until that Tennessee school district decided to ban it. I found it online last night and am reading it. It’s a quick read… more than half way through as I read it in short spurts. My act of resistance… read what they try to ban.

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  1. Mercedes Schneider: They Can’t Ban MAUS Unless They Shut Down the Internet | Diane Ravitch's blog

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