Meet the Censored: Abigail Shrier
Where is the line between boycott-based activism and corporate censorship?
Abigail Shrier of the Wall Street Journal has been in the middle of two major international news stories in the last year. One involves transgender issues. The other, the subject of this article, is about censorship.
The history of campaigns to suppress books in pre-Internet America is not littered with successes. Techniques ran the gamut, from school systems pulling The Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22, and Toni Morrisson’s Song of Solomon, to parent-led campaigns against individual schools teaching The Color Purple, to libraries removing A Clockwork Orange, to the U.S. Postal Service declaring For Whom the Bell Tolls “un-mailable,” to the firing of a teacher who assigned One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to dozens of other episodes.
Most such efforts failed. The typical narrative involved a local conservative or religious group arrayed against national publishers and distributors, although there were instances of campaigns instigated from the other political direction (e.g. calls to ban o…
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