Book News

 2016: April-June



 Update: Disturbing the peace...

Australian customs resumes its censorship battle against Philip Nitschke's The Peaceful Pill Handbook


Link Here 18th June 2016
Peaceful Pill Handbook Philip Nitschke Australia has resumed its censorship campaign against a book that provides information on euthanasia and assisted suicide to the elderly and the seriously ill.

The Peaceful Pill Handbook , written by euthanasia advocate and former doctor, Philip Nitschke , is published in Holland but copies have been seized on arrival in Australia. People who have ordered the book receive instead a note from customs which reads:

Customs prohibits importation of documents relating to suicide ... The importation of a device designed or customised to be used by a person to commit suicide is prohibited absolutely.

Zola Ortenburg received such a note and has written to the attorney general, George Brandis, to express her concern at the book being banned. The letter says:

Why should I, as a mature Australian woman, not be allowed to read what I choose?

Talking about this with my husband he reminded me that Adolf Hitler ordered books should be destroyed in 1933. How far away are from this happening in Australia?

Does this mean that Australian Border Force has an oversupply of staff or perhaps should they be better utilised in stopping the ever increasing importation of drugs and there ingredients not to mention the guns and everything to do with them.

Author Philip Nitschke said.

These seizures are a new and worrying development and I'm taken aback by yet another attempt by the federal government to interfere with the choices and decisions of elderly Australians. The heavy handed use of censorship to restrict access to the Peaceful Pill Handbook, now the world's best selling manual on accessing a peaceful death, shows how fragile any notion of free speech is in this country.

Australia is the only country in the world that is trying to restrict access to this book.

 

 Updated: A new struggle...

Book publisher set to release the first modern German language edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf without contextualising annotations


Link Here 12th June 2016
schelm mein kampf advertThe German Right-wing publisher Schelm-Verlag  intends to release a version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf without annotations.

Amid much furor, Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf returned to German bookstores in January - albeit in annotated form. The first editions, with around 3,700 comments from historians, intended to put the diatribe into context, sold out within weeks.

The publication was made possible only this year after the book's copyright had expired, 70 years after Hitler's death. Legally speaking, the work is considered seditious. But with the annotations by the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History, the legal case for publication was sound. That's not necessarily the case for the new unannotated edition.

Schelm, based in Leipzig, is already taking orders on its website for the unaltered reprint, which the publisher says will serve as a source of public education, help defend against unconstitutional efforts and provide historical documentation for the academic world.

Update: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

12th June 2016. See  article from theguardian.com

il giornale logoAn Italian newspaper has generated a little 'outrage' for a promotion offering free copies of an annotated version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf . Il Giornale started selling an eight-volume history of the Third Reich, with the annotated copy of Mein Kampf free for readers who bought the first volume.

The Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, said on Twitter that Il Giornale's decision to give away the copies of the Nazi leader's political treatise was squalid, as he expressed solidarity with Italy's Jewish community:

But Il Giornale, a centre-right daily owned by the family of Berlusconi, claimed the decision to distribute the edition of the text, which includes critical notes by an Italian historian, aimed to study what is evil to avoid its return .

 

 Update: Sex, Pork, and Persecution...

Malaysia inevitably bans book about the country's shameful persecution of a blooger who made a bacon joke


Link Here 23rd April 2016
sex pork persecutionFive publications have been banned by the Malaysian Government as it was claimed that the books contain elements which could confuse easily confused muslims and cause moral harm.

In fact the government was trying silence criticism over the persecution of young bloggers who made a minor joke about bacon.

The government book censors claimed that Alvin Tan's Sex, Pork, And Persecution: How's One Young Man's Fight Against Conformity Led to Imprisonment and Vilification was banned as it was likely to be prejudicial to morality as it contained pornographic elements.

The publication of Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey As Told By Christian) was also banned for being supposedly prejudicial to morality as it contained pornographic elements.

Three other books were also banned but these are not internationally known:

Orang Ngomong Anjing Gong Gong was banned for supposedly being detrimental to public order, security and morality as it contained elements against the Malaysian norms and moral ethics.

Ajaran Makrifat Syekh Siti Jenar and Israk Mikraj: Tinjauan Saintifik Di Sebalik Kontroversi were banned as they were found to be prejudicial to public order and contained elements which could confuse and harm the faith of Muslims.

It is an offence under  the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for anyone to print, import, produce, reproduce, publish, sell, issue, circulate, offer for sale and distribution, as well as to possess such banned publications. Those convicted of the offence can be sentenced to a jail term of up to three years and a fine not exceeding RM20,000 or both.

 

  Recommended Books...

The American Library Association publishes its annual list of the books that attract calls for censorship


Link Here 13th April 2016

John Green Looking Alaska The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The top ten most challenged books of 2015 are:

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other ("poorly written," "concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it").

  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.

  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other ("wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints").

  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other ("profanity and atheism").

  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.

  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other ("graphic images").

  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

  9. Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.

  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other ("condones public displays of affection").