Many of the best books ever written have been destroyed by kings, priests, or committees terrified of the printed word. "The Fear of Books" examines the violence, destruction, and suppression that have hounded books throughout their history and the fears that lead to such treachery. This marvelous dissection of the antipathies ignited by books identifies three deeply seated fears: fear of insurrection, fear of blasphemy, and fear of pornography. In response to such fears, whole libraries have been burned, drowned, ripped to shreds, or locked away. As Jackson reveals, most books have been feared because someone else loved them - or thought they would assist love (Jackson devotes special attention to the aphrodisiac power of books and the steps taken to counteract it).'It is to the glory of books', Jackson says, 'that ignorance and fanaticism are their enemies'. Layering his own thoughts on the subject with the words of others, Jackson deals with self-righteous censors, snobs, powermongers, tyrants, and jealous spouses who declare war on the books their companions take to bed. Roundly skewering the false demons of obscenity, profanity, depravity, and perversion, "Fear of Books" upholds books as the soul and beacon of genuine human decency.