Banned, UnBanned, Now Borrowed: "America" (The Book)


Follow up to the 1)banning and 2) reversal of banning of "America" (The Book) by Jon Stewart. It's flying off the library shelves in Mississippi. Story from the Sun Herald .

Good PR for a book that has already proven popular. Do you suppose any of this was planned in advance by the publishers?


While I don't doubt that the publishers are thrilled with all the free publicity, they probably didn't have anything to do with the ban. However, they might have had something to do with this story hitting the wires like it did.

Telling people they can't have something is always a sure way to boost sales. Does anyone else remember 2 Live Crew They were a medicore (IMO) band with indecent lyrics that drew little audience until attorney Jack Thompson starting hounding them in Florida with legal action.The result was a best-selling single "Banned in the USA"

Oh yeah, I remember their vids too. You're right, they weren't all that great. Making a big stink about them, however, no doubt boosted their sales and their notoriety.

They didn't mail a letter to Stewart saying they were pulling the book. It was a collection development decision, someone just had a snit and called the papers. Its not quite the same.

It was a collection development decision, . . .

Not according to how it is being reported. From an article by AP:

But the board voted 5-2 Monday to lift the ban, and the book was returned to circulation in the system's eight libraries Tuesday.

The clear implication is that the book had already been bought and shelved, and then removed. I don't have enough information to make a firm determination on that score, however, but one thing seems to be fairly firm: the book was discriminated against on the basis of content, not a lack of artistic merit or poor production or writing values.

Addendum: There is an article at which suggests the book had not been purchased:

"We're not an adult bookstore. Our entire collection is open to the entire public," Willits said. "If they had published the book without that one picture, that one page, we'd have the book."

Unfortunately, most news sites are carrying the poorly written AP article. This whole story appears to be the victim of unclear reporting.

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