Burning Books

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McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers, May 10, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 239 pages
For over 2000 years, book burners have laid their torches to millions of books condemned as heretical, blasphemous, immoral, obscene, subversive or seditious. Books have been reduced to ashes in church yards, college yards, school furnaces, public squares and city streets. The goals of the book burners have been to extirpate history, to intimidate and stamp out opposition, to create solidarity, and to cleanse society of controversial ideas. Too often, book burning foreshadows violence against those who originated or shared the ideas. This work provides a detailed account of actual book burning worldwide over the past 2000 years. The book burners are identified, along with the works they set aflame. The study examines the metaphoric language that “justified” the destruction; characterizing the books as “tares,” “pestilence,” “plagues,” “cancers,” and “poison” is central to the control the burners hope to exercise. Also considered is the primeval pull of the book burning ritual, which in its simplicity leads to the destruction of ideas and the uniformity of thought associated with totalitarianism.

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User Review  - arnoldvl - LibraryThing

I remember many years ago learning that ancient Egyptian civilizations had a habit of chiseling off the names of dead pharaohs from monuments and other public works and I thought at the time what a ... Read full review

Burning books

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Bosmajian (communications, emeritus, Univ. of Washington;The Freedom Not To Speak) is a prolific historian-and Cassandra-like presence-on matters of censorship and the political and social dimensions ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

The late Haig Bosmajian, professor emeritus in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, Seattle, lived in Seattle.

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