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The Challenging of 'All the King's Men'
Since reading is sexier when you're not supposed to do it, the final seven days of September marks the American Library Association's annual Banned Books week. Here in New Orleans, we're accepting enough to stay clear of the ALA's list of towns that challenged, banned or burned classics. But, the Kingfish was not so lucky. Former LSU Prof Robert Penn Warren's (presumably) Long-based classic, All the King's Men, makes the list, thanks to a 1974 challenge from Dallas.
According to Dawn B. Sova's Literature Suppressed on School Grounds, the Dallas Independent School District just thought the book, which tells the tale of Southern governor Willie Stark and his unsavory dealigs, just wasn't light and fluffy enough for some in the District.
Along with Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Penn Warren's work was wheeled before the literary inquisition.
"They complained that the novel contained a "depressing view of life" and "immoral situations," Sova writes.
The novel appears to have survived the threat, as two copies are currently listed as "available" in the District's library system. The copy at Lincoln Magnet High, however, has mysteriously disappeared.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,
Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson
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B. E. Mintz
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