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The New York Times
Feb. 26, 1947

Two Groups Protest Ban on 'Tom Paine'

The American Civil Liberties Union urged the Board of Education yesterday not to ban Howard Fast's historical novel "Citizen Tom Paine" from New York City's public school libraries. The board is scheduled to act on the matter when it meets this afternoon at 110 Livingston Street, Brooklyn.
A protest against the proposed ban of the novel, which has been condemned by the Board of Superintendents and the Committee on Instructional Affairs because of allegedly vulgar passages, was also lodged with the school authorities by the Association of Teachers of Social Studies.
The union statement said that the selection of reading matter in the schools "is properly a part of the educational process to be entrusted entirely to teachers." It urged the board to ask the superintendents to reconsider their decision since the evidence as to the character of "Citizen Tom Paine" did not appear to justify the proposed ban.
The social studies teachers asked the board to postpone action until after adequate public hearings and an opportunity for study of the book. They warned that judging a book on the basis of isolated passages could lead to the rejection of "a large proportion of classics."

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