The Fear of Books

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9780252070402: The Fear of Books

Many of the best books ever written have been destroyed by kings, priests, or committees terrified of the printed word. "The Fear of Books" examines the violence, destruction, and suppression that have hounded books throughout their history and the fears that lead to such treachery. This marvelous dissection of the antipathies ignited by books identifies three deeply seated fears: fear of insurrection, fear of blasphemy, and fear of pornography. In response to such fears, whole libraries have been burned, drowned, ripped to shreds, or locked away. As Jackson reveals, most books have been feared because someone else loved them - or thought they would assist love (Jackson devotes special attention to the aphrodisiac power of books and the steps taken to counteract it).'It is to the glory of books', Jackson says, 'that ignorance and fanaticism are their enemies'. Layering his own thoughts on the subject with the words of others, Jackson deals with self-righteous censors, snobs, powermongers, tyrants, and jealous spouses who declare war on the books their companions take to bed. Roundly skewering the false demons of obscenity, profanity, depravity, and perversion, "Fear of Books" upholds books as the soul and beacon of genuine human decency.

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From Library Journal:

A British "bookman," Jackson (1874-1948) here offers historical and cultural paeans to the book and to reading. The love of books is something nearly universal, though books have been reviled by certain cultures. Mostly, Jackson was a book nut who shared his love for the printed word, which, of course, includes libraries. These volumes were originally published in 1950, 1932, and 1947, respectively.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

"Mr. Jackson's cross-lights and unexpected illuminations are fascinating... among all his good things from other writers, his own good things should not be overlooked." -- Times Literary Supplement

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Jackson, Holbrook
Published by University of Illinois Press (2001)
ISBN 10: 0252070402 ISBN 13: 9780252070402
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Jackson, Holbrook
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ISBN 10: 0252070402 ISBN 13: 9780252070402
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