Nation Conversation: Why Banning Books Never Works

Art Spiegelman and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen discuss book bans and censorship.

Mar 23, 2022

Event Details

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Watch the recording of this event below:

After the McMinn County School Board voted in January to remove Maus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, from its curriculum, the issues of book banning and the right’s nationwide campaign to reshape what students are reading in public schools gained renewed national attention.

An immediate result of the board’s decision were soaring sales of Maus, which occupied the top spot on Amazon for weeks. As Art Spiegelman, the book’s author, pointed out in several interviews, banning books just makes them more popular. Despite this obvious truism, books have been the targets of bans in America for more than a century and the practice is again on the rise.

Join a conversation with Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Nation Editorial Director and Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel about why banning books is really about circumscribing empathy and how we can fight against the terribly wrong direction this sort of censorship sends us.

Please join us to hear two of America’s most highly regarded writers discuss how we can effectively oppose our country’s creeping cultural censorship. There will be ample time devoted to audience questions and conversation. All proceeds directly support The Nation’s journalism.

If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected].


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