Censorship is the coercive silencing of dissenting views by political authorities generally in order to protect an official orthodoxy or to prevent the spread of ideas not authorized by the powers that be. As Alberto Manguel writes in A History of Reading, censorship “is the corollary of all power, and the history of reading is lit by a seemingly endless line of censors' bonfires.” Censorship has been and remains a common feature of oppressive regimes. John Milton, whose Areopagitica (written in protest of the censorship of his writings on divorce) remains the most eloquent defense of the free press written in English, provided a history of censorship from 411 B.C., when the works of Protagoras were burned in Athens on the grounds that they taught ...

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