Political Climate and Catastrophes: The Effects of Notorious Events on Public Library Collections, Both Then and Now


This paper explores four different cases in the early 1950s of “Red Scare” tactics that influenced the freedoms that patrons using public libraries have enjoyed. The paper will also examine, at various points, the censorship parallels in the early 1950s to the contemporary political climate and the fallout of the Great Depression to the current catastrophe, COVID-19. The paper reviews the fallout from the Great Depression and how the world’s depression helped catapult Adolph Hitler of Germany to power. Hitler severely restricted or eliminated freedoms of expression, and the Trump administration’s actions reflect some of those same restrictions

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