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Censored Mother Goose Rhymes by Kendall Banning...

Dec 03, 2011
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Censored Mother Goose Rhymes by Kendall Banning (1929)

Flipped through an interactive version of this very funny book today at the Ransom Center’s wonderful “Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored” exhibit. (It’s out of print, so you can read the whole thing online.)

Originally published in 1926 and dedicated to “The Censors who have taught us how to ready naughty meanings into harmless words,” Banning reprinted it in support of the efforts to revise parts of tariff legislation that allowed customs agents to ban “obscene” books from the US—the book was distributed to congressmen in the middle of the debate.1

Banning (1879-1944) wasn’t some underground prankster: he was a war veteran, a poet (a New York Times review in 1913 said of his work, “no other poet in America at the moment has such a gift of pure melody”), an author of over a dozen books (he wrote books on Annapolis and West Point), and an editor of Cosmopolitan, Popular Radio, and Hearst Magazine.

Fun fact: Gertrude Stein owned a copy.

105 notes

  1. poemsdreamsandmoonbeams reblogged this from austinkleon
  2. raynaonyourparade reblogged this from austinkleon and added:
    This is just hilarious
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  13. jbhell reblogged this from austinkleon
  14. soundtrick-old reblogged this from bitterseafigtree and added:
    this is beautiful and hilarious, guys go read this book
  15. yoyelle reblogged this from austinkleon and added:
    mother goose!
  16. bitterseafigtree reblogged this from austinkleon
  17. viradt reblogged this from austinkleon
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