Books containing harmful ideas will no longer be sold new, says “Dr. Seuss Enterprises Will Shelve 6 Books, Citing ‘Hurtful’ Portrayals” (NPR):
“In And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, for example, a character described as Chinese has two lines for eyes, carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice, and wears traditional Japanese-style shoes. In If I Ran the Zoo, two men said to be from Africa are shown shirtless, shoeless and wearing grass skirts as they carry an exotic animal. Outside of his books, the author’s personal legacy has come into question, too — Seuss wrote an entire minstrel show in college and performed as the main character in full blackface.”
Let’s look at If I Ran the Zoo. The used (“collectible”) book is still available at Amazon, however, for $1,700:
and it may be available in a lot of public libraries where young minds could fall into error.
Would it make sense for a billionaire Silicon Valley progressive to fund the purchase of all extant copies of these harmful works and then burn them? A typical public library would presumably be happy to receive $1,700 for a worn book that had originally cost them $10. Like the Pfizer vaccine that is not banned in India (“mostly false” and a “conspiracy theory” according to Newsweek; it is just that the vaccine is not approved and therefore illegal to use), the libraries wouldn’t be banning If I Ran the Zoo. It would just be deaccessioned to make room for better/newer books.
(If your budget is smaller and you’re looking for bedtime stories that don’t offend modern merchants, Amazon will sell you a new copy of Mein Kampf for $22.49 ($10.99 Kindle):
“I am convinced that we cannot possibly dispense with the trade unions. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions in the economic life of the nation. Not only are they important in the sphere of social policy but also, and even more so, in the national political sphere. For when the great masses of a nation see their vital needs satisfied through a just trade unionist movement the stamina of the whole nation in its struggle for existence will be enormously reinforced thereby.” and “For this, to be sure, from the child’s primer down to the last newspaper, every theater and every movie house, every advertising pillar and every billboard, must be pressed into the service of this one great mission”)
The Russians and Dutch rebels behind Library Genesis have preserved a PDF of the not-banned Dr. Seuss work. The world of 1950 contains some all-white neighborhoods:
But one can travel to find Asians (“who all wear their eyes at a slant”):
He goes to Nantucket without a Gulfstream? My rating: #MostlyFalse
The remote African island of “Yerka,” not as realistically depicted as in National Geographic:
As with the 2016 election, it all comes down to the Russians:
Update, evening of 3/3: at least some sellers are hoping to get $5,000 per copy.
What was the book worth before it was not-banned? $1.25 on eBay, January 4, 2021:
How about on March 3, 2021 for a “brand new” copy with no historical pedigree? $405 on eBay:
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- the Cobra effect (if a billionaire offers $1,700 per copy, maybe more copies will magically appear?)