The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Region: North America, Europe
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Artist: Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Confronting Bodies: Public Libraries, Soviet government
Dates of Action: 1876, 1905, 1930
Location: United States, Soviet Union
Description of Artwork: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; (1876) : novel featuring Tom, the "normal boy" mischievous but good hearted, winning triumphs through a number of adventures.
The Incident: 1876 U.S.A.-Brooklyn, N.Y.: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was excluded from the children's room in the Public Library. Also excluded from the Denver Public Library.
1905 Brooklyn, N.Y.: The book was excluded from children's room of the Public Library as bad examples of ingenuous youth.
1930 Soviet Union: Book confiscated at the border.
Results of Incident: In 1905 Asa Don Dickinson, Librarian of Brooklyn College, appealed to the author to defend the slander. His reply, which was not published until 1924, said: "I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn for adults exclusively, and it always distressed me when I find that boys and girls have been allowed access to them. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean."
By 1946 the book had become a best seller in the Soviet Union.
Source: Banned Books 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D., by Anne Lyon Haight, and Chandler B.