Removing books instead of defending them is now âcoolâ because the industry has changed. Now, often it’s about winning favor with government and powerful people, not helping readers understand the world around us.
To consider what has changed, take an outcry over a biography of novelist Philip Roth (1933-2018) by American author Bill Bailey:
Several women accused Bailey of predatory behavior. At a private Louisiana school where he had once taught English, he is said to have “prepared” eighth-graders for later adult seductions to rape. And a woman said Bailey raped her at the home of a mutual friend who, in one of the myriad ironies of the scandal, was a book critic for The New York Times. In no time at all, WW Norton yanked the book off. An 861-page tome proudly displayed in the window of my local independent bookstore a few days earlier had been abruptly canceled. âRoth’s bio goes meta,â novelist Lucinda Rosenfeld posted on Facebook. / The knock on the biography, as expressed in The New Republic among other legacy organs struggling for arousal, is that Bailey took it easy on Roth’s sexual history. Magazine reviewer Laura Marsh echoed the prevailing view that Roth viewed women as necessary evils to serve his outsized ego / libido, and he was a womanizer who pushed the boundaries of May romances. to December forâ¦ whatever you call him when he’s 73 and she’s 29. She then dropped the manna from Roth haters’ Heaven: At one point, these issues were covered in the review pages. The publishers have not considered withdrawing the book due to the critics’ alleged wrongdoing.
Rick marin, “The Roth Biography Scandal If the subject is to be blamed for the biographer” at Remark (June 2021)
It had nothing to do with the work of the author in question. But today, many publishers, not just Norton, would conscientiously bow down to the injured, withdraw the book, and wait for a beating.
An American senator, Josh Hawley, was recently confronted with the “deedition” of his book, The tyranny of big technology, by Simon and Schuster. It was canceled due to the Capitol Riot in which he actually took no part. The book remained a bestseller with another publisher, hastily arranged. It is still in the Top Ten in the relevant categories. The title speaks for itself.
Yes, editing has definitely changed. Who needs governments to censor the books when Woke companies are eager to do their job for them? Canadian commentator Frank Furedi notes that âpublishing is emerging as a career choice for ambitious censors. He goes on to say,
Censorship calls by independent inquisitors working in publishing have also been made in the United States. Simon & Schuster employees recently filed a petition urging the publisher to sever ties with writers associated with the Trump administration. The petition, signed by 216 employees, garnered the support of more than 3,500 external supporters, including well-known black writers such as two-time National Book Award for Fiction winner Jesmyn Ward.
When well-known writers join the queue of enthusiastic censors, it becomes evident that American literary culture is in trouble.
One of the targets of Inquisitors Simon & Schuster is a two-pound deal the company signed with former vice president Mike Pence. Since they believe Pence’s views are not as valid as theirs, silencing one of the main voices of the Republican Party is a public service to society.
One of the most disturbing characteristics of the inquisitorial movement in the publishing industry is the casual manner in which it seeks to corrupt the ideals of tolerance and free speech.
It should be noted that the letter sent to The Bookseller is titled âThe Paradox of Toleranceâ. Since he rejects tolerance for views with which he does not agree – he declares, “it is clearly not appropriate to simply say ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion'” – he should to be called “The case of intolerance”!
Frank Furedi, “Who needs governments to censor the books when awakened companies are doing their job for them” at MercatorNet (May 12, 2021)
It is almost certain that one of the causes of the new epidemic of intolerance is that the information economy has changed. At one time, information was valuable and risky. Think of the monks transcribing the old classics (Plato and Aristotle), huddled in monasteries for fear of barbarians.
Information today is a tidal wave, most of which we don’t even need. Do you really care what Madonna or Hawaii Five-O is doing now? Why? Yet you should have the right to know.
Finding out what we want to know through qualified internet research is relatively easier than ever in history. This has made the groundwork for publishers to curry favor with major entities by censoring various sources. People will just find other ways to get there.
A key cultural shift is that the kind of people who once would have picketed libraries for free speech are now demanding the removal of books that contradict their views. For example, activists demand the withdrawal of Abigail Shrier’s work Irreversible damage. Shrier has recently gained notoriety for his defense of the term mother. As in “Mother’s Day”.
Yes, it has happened. The last defense of information is the defense of a free Internet.
You can also read:
See also: Fight Cancel Culture with Douglas Murray. We may have to start asking ourselves some tough questions. Do the educational institutions we support sponsor crackdowns on independent thought? Maybe it’s time to find out.
In Big Tech World: the journalist as censor, hitman and snitch. Glenn Greenwald examines a disturbing trend in the media towards misrepresentation as well as censorship.