The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Librarians Fight Censorship

Apr 1, 2002

Michael Moore, maker of the film Roger and Me (about General Motors’ treatment of workers in Flint, Michigan) had 50,000 copies of his new book sitting in a warehouse in Pennsylvania, waiting to hit the stores the beginning of October 2001. The book, Stupid White Men and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! tells the truth about the dirty tricks played during the Florida elections that led to the George W. Bush victory. It criticizes the Democrats, too.

After the tragedy of September 11th, the book’s publishing company, owned by Rupert Murdoch, ordered Michael Moore to rewrite HALF the book in order to take out all criticism of George W. Bush. They refused to release it without these changes and planned to shred the copies already printed.

The author refused to make the changes and 50,000 copies collected dust.

In December 2001, Michael Moore spoke at a meeting in New Jersey and read from his unpublished book. Unknown to him, in the audience that night was a librarian who sat on the national board for libraries in the whole country. She let other librarians know about the book and about the censorship.

Soon librarians were organizing a protest for an upcoming publishing convention. Libraries spend two billion dollars a year on new books, and they let this be known to the publisher.

Not long after, the publisher agreed to release the book unchanged. It has been a number 1 nonfiction bestseller since its release in February of 2002.

It seems that the reading public is hungry for a book that details Bush’s crooked deals and shady background – no matter what billionaire Rupert Murdoch thinks. (Ironically, Murdoch stands to make millions more on a book he tried to censor!)