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How Book Bans Turned a Texas Town Upside Down

The New York Times Magazine: “…Over the last year, campaigns to ban books have erupted throughout school districts and local libraries across the country. The American Library Association, which tracks challenges to library books or resources since 1990, previously documented roughly 300 to 350 complaints annually, with most challenges targeting a single title each. But in 2021 alone, the association noted 729 complaints against 1,597 different books. It has been “an unprecedented increase in the number of challenges,” says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, who directs the A.L.A.’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. (A regular target of challenges, and a frequent object of political attacks, has been “The 1619 Project,” a 2019 special issue of this magazine and a subsequent best-selling book examining the legacy of slavery in American life.) Strategies on how to lodge complaints against books are traded on Facebook and shared among branch chapters of parental rights groups. One of the most influential of these groups is the Florida-based Moms for Liberty. Since its inception in January 2021, it has grown to include more than 200 chapters nationwide, with more than 100,000 members. In some towns, members have compiled their own book lists with dozens of titles…”

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