" If your library is not 'unsafe', it probably isn't doing its job."
-- John Berry, Iii, Library Journal, October 1999
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
-- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)
"The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion..."
-- Henry Steel Commager
"Don't join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech at Dartmouth College, June 14, 1953
"Every burned book enlightens the world."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"This is slavery, not to speak one's thought."
-- Euripides, Greek tragic poet (480 or 485 B.C. - 406 B.C)
"If the human body's obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me."
-- Larry Flynt
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1730
"Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education."
-- Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education
"Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."
-- Heinrich Heine
"Fear of corrupting the mind of the younger generation is the loftiest form of cowardice."
-- Holbrook Jackson
"Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance."
-- Lyndon Baines Johnson, February 11, 1964
"The burning of an author's books, imprisonment for an opinion's sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time."
-- Joseph Lewis, Voltaire: The Incomparable Infidel, 1929
"One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present."
-- Golda Meir, Israeli political leader (1898-1978)
"Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always be the last resort of the boob and the bigot."
-- Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, American playwright (1888-1953)
"A censor is an expert in cutting remarks. A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to."
-- Dr. Laurence Peter, Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time. New York: Morrow, 1977, p. 97
"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist."
-- Salman Rushdie
"Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime..."
-- Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States, 383 U.S. 463 (1966)
"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
-- Harry S. Truman, message to Congress, August 8, 1950
"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it."
-- Mark Twain
"All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let's get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States -- and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!"
-- Kurt Vonnegut, author
"The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame."
-- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
-- Oscar Wilde