Threats against literature, libraries are oldest tricks in the book

What better book on this topic than “Fahrenheit 451,” Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel of an America where books are unlawful and “firemen” burn any that are found?

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Threats against libraries are likely to increase in part because the right-wing religious intolerance and political nihilism that is driving recent book bans mirror those of the past.

Threats against libraries are likely to increase in part because the right-wing religious intolerance and political nihilism that is driving recent book bans mirror those of the past, a Sun-Times reader writes.

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Threats against libraries are likely to increase in part because the right-wing religious intolerance and political nihilism that is driving recent book bans mirror those of the past. Whether those threats materialize into actual violence is a question mark, but the outlook is forbidding, given this week’s bomb threats at Harold Washington Library Center and facilities in surrounding suburbs.

Books themselves offer insights regarding the consequences of book bans. And what better book on these topics than “Fahrenheit 451,” a dystopian novel published in 1953 by Waukegan-born author Ray Bradbury?

The novel confronts book bans directly as it depicts an American society where books are unlawful and “firemen” burn any that are found.

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Bradbury was reacting to the Red Scare of the Joseph McCarthy era, when right-wing propaganda promoted the fear of communism and other leftist concepts. He also wrote in the shadow of the book burnings in Nazi Germany and the ideological repression in the Soviet Union.

These dynamics bear a striking resemblance to propaganda today against “progressive” ideas such as African American history, civil rights and gender equality, as evidenced by the widespread bans against Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye”, Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” illustrate.

Bigotry against the LGBTQIA+ community is also a strong dynamic in numerous book bans.

Given the increase in violence against Jews, people of color, immigrants and others, things could get worse with libraries, librarians and patrons drawing the wrath of fanatics.

Craig Barner, Lincoln Square

Governor’s mansion has the space to shelter migrant families

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Charna Halpern, Northbrook

Trump’s no golden oldie either

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Mary F. Warren, Wheaton

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Carol Gutkowski, Montclare-Galewood

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