Jack Shafer: The Reasons Behind the Book Banning Boom

From a Jack Shafer Fourth Estate column on politico.com headlined “Why Everyone Digs Book Bannings”:

Like El Niño and solar flares, the impulse to ban books seems to be a cyclical force of nature. In ordinary times, book bannings surge and then, like clockwork, recede away like floodwaters. But these are not normal times. Over the past nine months, we’ve entered a book banning era like none other in our country’s history. Between July 2021 and the end of March 2022, an astounding 1,586 book bannings took place in 86 school districts in 26 states, according to a comprehensive PEN America study. Texas, natch, led the pack, with Pennsylvania and Florida taking second and third. And that’s only the bannings PEN America is aware of. Likely more exist.